I arrived in Vietnam one month ago today.
This is my first experience living outside of the US as an adult. I've certainly done my share of traveling within the US & beyond, but my trips never lasted more than a few weeks at a time, & I was always on the tourist track. Living in a place changes everything.
Bien Hoa is a very urban place, but still lacks any real appeal. I'm finding it very difficult to make friends in Vietnam, but not for lack of trying. I go out every day in search of things to do & people to meet without success. The Vietnamese people are quick to say hello to me as I pass them on the street or in the coffee shops that I visit. I smile & wave, but as soon as I try to extend the conversation, they giggle & walk away. My housemate Harley has had a completely different experience. He says he meets people everywhere he goes, & they seem to be eager to speak English with him. Maybe it's because I'm a woman. Maybe my height intimidates them. I'm still trying to figure this one out.
Still, it's an interesting experience living here. It's definitely something different.