On the other weekend, I went to a market to do the shopping. After having all I needed, I went to the bus stop. While waiting for the bus, two girls – one in purple and another one in green shirts – were already waiting at the bus stop. The girl in purple kept looking at me. I wondered. What’s wrong with me? Do I dress strangely? Does my zipper open? Ha ha… 😀
For about 5 minutes, the bus then came. We got on. I let all the ladies got on first. When I sat, she looked at me and asked.
“Chào, do bạn người Việt?”
I didn’t catch those words for sure. I got this from Google Translate. And I believe, this might be incorrect since I remember, Tin, one of my Vietnamese friends told me that the translations were messy in Google. Maybe, my Vietnamese friends/fellow bloggers could help 🙂
Since we’re separated for about 4 seats, I just waved my hand and said, “Sorry, no.”
The bus kept going. When it got near to my flat, I pressed the ‘bus stop’ sign. Eventually. We got on at the same bus stop. They appeared to live in the same area with me.
“Excuse me, what did you ask me just now?” I asked them.
“Oh, so sorry, I was asking whether or not you’re a Vietnamese. I thought you are one,” the girl in purple smiled.
Seriously, how on Earth they thought I am a Vietnamese! I mean, look at my face, I think nothing would represent any Vietnamese characteristics 🙂 Yes, I do have lots of Vietnamese friends; they are all good people; but I know that not even the smallest dots would resemble their traits.
It would probably different when a lady in an Easter celebration for the Eastern Indonesian people thought that I was a Samoan. I was not really surprised for this. Two years ago, I had an Indonesian – Australian night gathering. I met lots of Australians who love Indonesia and speak Indonesian. Most of them have visited Bali, the island of paradise, they said. Even though, I did not totally agree for this actually :).
There, I met a lady. She came with an Australian man, around 60-year-old who appeared to be her husband. I was happy, I thought she was a Balinese. I was ashamed by then, I was too stereotyped. Then, I knew that the Samoans are pretty much alike in Balinese characteristics, especially their physical ones (see more here). As far as I remember, I’ve been mistakenly judged several times. Some said I am a Brazilian, or Javanese, or Cambodian, or Malaysia (for sure!). Well, it can be anything, isn’t it? Yet, it’s a lot of fun, too!
Anyway, we then continued to talk. We introduced ourselves. The girl in purple mentioned that her name is Hoai, something difficult for my tongue to pronounce. She then told her English name is Jennifer. The other girl is Duong (pronounced more or less like this). I understand that it is pretty common for Vietnamese to have English names due to difficulty to pronounce their Vietnamese names. However, I still have some other friends who keep using their original Vietnamese names. I guess, it’s because their original names are not very difficult to pronounce. Say, for example, Tin, Nam, Le, Dat, and Thu.
This encounter with the Vietnamese ladies seemed interesting then. Isn’t good to have many friends from all around the world?
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