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Friday, August 14, 2009

Western Luxury: Perspective

After living in Vietnam for two & a half months, I find that I feel uncomfortable in Western-style restaurants, hotels, & shops. When the average restaurant here looks like the one above, the Western-style establishments seem way too luxurious. I look at the menu & gape in shock at a dish for 100,000 Dong (=$5.50). A $25 dress seems like a bargain, but at 450,000 Dong, it's out of my league. I feel like an impostor if I go into these places because the Vietnamese employees there might think I'm a rich tourist with lots of dough to spend, so I tend to avoid them. Even on the train, I prefer the hard seat.

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