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An Expat Opinion


Thanks to living in Vietnam, I love the nanny state more than ever. In fact, I look forward to rushing back into her protective arms and giving her a great big cuddle, writes <b>Tabitha Carvan</b>.

Why I love the nanny state

Thanks to living in Vietnam, I love the nanny state more than ever. In fact, I look forward to rushing back into her protective arms and giving her a great big cuddle, writes Tabitha Carvan.

'Fartshion': the joy of shopping in Hanoi

At any given moment on Tạ Hiện street, Hanoi you’ll find a tourist photographing this window for the Creative Oriental Crafts Kingdom (aka COCK). This sign is clearly no accident, but an excellent business strategy, as confirmed by the store-owner in this blog. As it reported: “As it turns out ‘COCK’ stands for ‘Creative Oriental Crafts […]

In Vietnam, I am, and always will be, a "Tây", meaning "westerner". I’m not offended one bit by this label. Not even when I had new passport photos taken and the shop filled in the "Mr/Ms_________" section on the little receipt with “Ms Tây”, and filed it away under T.

Fear and self-loathing in expat-land

In Vietnam, I am, and always will be, a "Tây", meaning "westerner". I’m not offended one bit by this label. Not even when I had new passport photos taken and the shop filled in the "Mr/Ms_________" section on the little receipt with “Ms Tây”, and filed it away under T.

Because the Vietnamese pretty much drive out of the birth canal on two wheels, they miss out on a formative experience we take for granted: adapting to four-wheeled transport.

The Vietnamese transport motto: two wheels good, four wheels bad

Because the Vietnamese pretty much drive out of the birth canal on two wheels, they miss out on a formative experience we take for granted: adapting to four-wheeled transport.

From a comprehensive study of our friends, we’ve been able why friends seem to get the wrong impression of Vietnam. And it's the guidebooks fault, says <b>Tabitha Carvan</b>.

Why your guidebook is ruining your holiday

From a comprehensive study of our friends, we’ve been able why friends seem to get the wrong impression of Vietnam. And it's the guidebooks fault, says Tabitha Carvan.

For a foreigner, Tết is a stressful time, and not just because of the traffic and the short supply of individually-wrapped snacks. It’s also a cultural minefield.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Tếtness

For a foreigner, Tết is a stressful time, and not just because of the traffic and the short supply of individually-wrapped snacks. It’s also a cultural minefield.

The year in review from Hanoi

With the new year just past, I find myself reflecting on 2011. It was a year in which Hanoi taught me many lessons, for which I’m truly grateful. I present for you some highlights of What I Learned In 2011: 1. Your eyeballs can sweat A year in Hanoi can be divided into three parts: […]

Christmas without the tradition and religion? Welcome to Vietnam

I don’t really like Christmas. Several years ago, channelling my inner fourteen-year old, I stormed out of a family dinner and swore I would never return home for Christmas again. And because my inner fourteen-year old is about as stubborn as my outer thirty-something, I’ve stuck to my guns. This year, I’ll be swinging in […]

So long, and thanks for all the sour cream

“You’ll get bored,” she’d said to me, with such certainty that I wondered if it might be true. ‘She’ was my boss, and they were her parting words as I walked out of my office, family photos from my desk and farewell card stashed in my bag, three years in a country I couldn’t even […]

I cock-a-doodle-do

Introducing a new regular Back in a Bit author, an Aussie expat living in Hanoi…  Tabitha Carvan writes: This, my first post for Crikey comes at a particularly significant time for me in my two-year stint in Hanoi, being as it is only months away from my wedding. My partner Nathan and I are both Australian and […]