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Topic: Vietnam
Why I love the nanny state

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.

Fear and self-loathing in expat-land

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.

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

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.

Why your guidebook is ruining your holiday

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.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Tếtness

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.

Experiencing Vietnam, old school style

Experiencing Vietnam, old school style

So you’ve just launched into a travel story. An amazing tale of bravery, derring-do and batik shopping in the face of extreme food poisoning. And you’re just about to reach the climax when someone pipes up: ‘Oh, Baluchistan. I was there before it was trendy.’ Yes, it’s infuriating. No, I can’t help myself. Because (with […]

Christmas without the tradition and religion? Welcome to Vietnam

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 […]

I cock-a-doodle-do

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 […]

A holiday with bite, blood and visits to the dentist

A holiday with bite, blood and visits to the dentist

You know you need a holiday when you’re pathetically weeping two days before you leave because the weather looks terrible and maybe you should just cancel it and fly somewhere else where the monsoon isn’t hitting and therefore you need find a new hotel even though you spent ages finding one with a great pool […]