“It would be hard to say one thing, but I’d say the first thing on my list is the coffee. I take coffee everyday, I really like coffee, and the fact that you just have to cross the street to grab two coffees is really good. ”
What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Boris Laporte, and I come from France, from Britanny the west part, but for now I live in Paris.
Why did you come to Vietnam?
I was looking for an internship in Asia, because I’ve done all my internship in South America and I’m kind of looking for a place where to live after my studies, I really like to get to new countries and discover, new cultures and languages and everything. So I was looking for Asia, but China is difficult about the visa, like it’s difficult to work there legally, Japan if you don’t speak Japanese you cannot work there. And there was one guy, my actual boss, who contacted me on Linkedin, and he offered me an internship, and I said yes. So I didn’t really choose Vietnam, but I was looking for Asia and I’m really happy now.
How long have you stayed here and when will you decide to come back to your country?
I’m here since 2 weeks, and I’ll come back to France at the beginning of December.
What do you like the most in Vietnam? Why?
It would be hard to say one thing, but I’d say the first thing on my list is the coffee. I take coffee everyday, I really like coffee, and the fact that you just have to cross the street to grab two coffees is really good.
Do you think it is difficult to find a place to live in HCMC?
Actually for me it was easy, Vietnam was the easiest for me ! Like usually I have to stay in a hostel for one week or more and there I look for roommates and everything, and here I just ask my boss how I can find an accommodation with housemates. And he told me to check on the Facebook groups, and I found the post of Claire, I sent her a message, and she just said « Well this place is available, it’s good, and I was like « Well, do you have another single room, we need to be two » and she said « Yes yes we have ! » and it was fine, I found my room one month before coming here ! While usually I find it after I get there.
What do you think about youth mobility now? Is it easier compared to the generation of our parents?
It’s easier, because on one hand it gets cheaper, about the plane tickets and everything, but on the other hand, on the cultural side, it’s really easy to find people who is doing this, and everything is becoming less impressive, because it’s easier to get a plane ticket, and you meet people doing like you everywhere, and you don’t feel alone, like English, more and more people are speaking it. So I think yes it’s easier.
What do you know about GlobeTrottr?
It’s some kind of company who do many things but the only one I know is housing, and honestly it’s a really good service. Because I bother a lot ! Thomas (our salesman), because my friend was looking for the internship when I got the room, so we ask if it was possible to reserve it, and finally we were like « We don’t know yet because she hasn’t her VISA yet » and only two days before, she has the VISA, and then everything went fine and she got the room.
So according to you, on which points can we improve?
I didn’t do much for now, so it’s all good. Maybe later ! But I already had so many questions, and each time I sent an email and it was fine.
Can you tell us a little story which happened during your trip ?
One of my housemates, a girl called Alex, we get along very well and she begins to check my Facebook, and she says « Hey you know this girl ?! » and I answered « Yes she’s my friend from France who’s coming to Vietnam and gonna live here, in this house too ! » and the girl apparently already talked to my friend through Facebook, it was like kind of coincidence ! It is pretty funny, what a small world !
Can you resume Vietnam in one word ?
That’s gonna be tough. The only thing in my head is coffee !
What is the biggest culture shock for you ?
Hmm, There are several things. But I don’t know because I have already been to China, and there are some common points, so maybe I’d say the lack of transportation, all the places I’ve been to there was public transportation and everything was fine, you just have to take the bus, the metro, or just walk. But here, it’s really tough to walk on the sideway, because of the traffic jam and all the motorbike. And after 30 mins of walking you just sweat too much and it’s really uncomfortable.
Do you consider yourself as a global citizen ?
What will be your next destination ?
I don’t know yet, might be Vietnam, might be another country, I don’t know. But either Asia or South America.
Interviewed by Corentin, GlobeTrottr staff