Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Country on the Rise

Having been here for the past two weeks and seeing a bit of how things are done it comes as no surprise that Vietnam is the number 2 emerging economy in the world. The work ethic here (certainly in the service industry) is strong - people work 6 days a week (sometimes 7), often 16 hour shifts. The attitude to clients is friendly, respectful and with a genuine concern for your well-being.

Street and stall vendors are not grabbing, rude or persistent - normally a friendly "no thank you" is all that is required. Though various "extra" services have been offered by cyclo-drivers (pax the Rex Hotel but more about that later) again there is no open or offensive solicitation.

Dien, our guide here in Hue and Hoi An, seems to sum up the attitude to things like the French and American Wars as most Vietnamese see it: It is history and the past, now we have to concern ourselves with building a future. And it appears that they are doing exactly that.

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