Interview Helene


“The food is really good. And also in Ho Chi Minh on the rooftop has Sky bars, I love it because it’s not quite expensive compare to France and you can have a beautiful view of the city”

What’s your name and where you from?

My name is Helene and I’m from France.

Can you tell us a little story about what has happened to you during your trip?

Me and my friends had a trip to Mui Ne – Phan Thiet. We were driving along the beach and suddenly got catch by police, we was driving on the right side of the road with around 30 km/h and we were not break any rules. I don’t know why they stop me. Oh yes I stopped 45 minutes, they asked our driver license and come with them to the police station. I remember my friend’s advice that try not to speak English, just talking in French. Then we saw the police was talking to our hotel for about 5 minutes and then they come back to us and try to speak slowly English like okay drive slowly and you can go.

How can you get the driving license here?

Because we have our own driving license in France and then I have to do like an international driving license, you can ask your government for that before you travel to other countries. Because each country have their own driving license, for example my driving license from French cannot use in Vietnam, so you have to make an international driving license if you want to travel to other countries. I’m not sure normally like us are not allowed to drive in Vietnam, I heard that.

So how was the trip Mui Ne?

Oh yes except the situation we had with the police there but it’s still a good memory for us anyway the beach is really nice. we took a sleeping bus during the weekend from Friday night to Sunday evening. It’s a nice bus, we started on Friday night and slept on the bus for like 6-7 hours and we arrived when we woke up in the Saturday morning. The driver said that we would arrive around 5 am, so it’s a good time to put stuffs in the hotel and start to visit everywhere in Mui Ne. But at around 3 am, while we were sleeping, the driver said: “Okay, we arrived, wake up and prepare your stuffs”. And we were like: “What?”.

However, we were lucky because the hotel is quite close to the bus station and it has a swimming pool; in swimming pool there are always a lot of chairs then we sat there 3 hours until the morning (haha) and there was a lady coming to us: “Who are you?”, “We booked the hotel for tonight” (haha)

How many places that you have travelled around Vietnam?

Not so much because I just arrived 1 months ago, I just when to the Mekong Delta, Mui Ne, around Ho Chi Minh like Cu Chi, that’s it. But I organized a lot of trips later like Dalat, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Danang, Hoi An, Hue and I will go to Singapore with my friends as well.

As you said that you stayed in Korea for 6 months before coming here so why did you come here?

Because I was doing my last semester in Korea and then I have to do my final internship for my study and then I found an internship in Ho Chi Minh, then I just say yes and flighted to Vietnam.

Do you think is it difficult to find an internship in Vietnam?

Actually for me is not difficult because a guy’s from my University was here before me so we just have to contact within my University and I just contacted to the guy so it’s easy for me. But I think is okay to find an internship in Vietnam because this It’s not difficult for the Visa.

Why did you choose Ho Chi Minh City for your internship instead of other countries?

To be honest, I didn’t know that I want to be in Ho Chi Minh City or in Vietnam it’s just that I want to stay in Asia for my internship,  so I applied for many internship in Asia but I was happy to here about Vietnam because it’s affordable with students because it’s not expensive and the life is nice as well and one of my friend was here he said that food in Vietnam is so nice and you can love them. Like all my friends they told me it’s the best food in Asia. Then I think: “Okay, Let’s go to Vietnam” (haha)

Why do you like Asia like that?

Actually I don’t know,  it’s very different because all the countries in Europe has different culture.  And Asia has a completely different culture from what we know in Europe so I want to discover new culture, it’s completely new for me.  at the beginning it was hard for me to adopt because I didn’t know the language but I like it now and I don’t want to say that European are not nice but sometimes in Asia, people way nicer, they want to help and they want to talk with you. In Europe people live really fast; for example, in Paris they live really fast, they hurry every time but here you take time to live, relax and it’s good. I like it.

What do you like the most in Vietnam?

The food is really good. And also in Ho Chi Minh on the rooftop has Sky bars, I love it because it’s not quite expensive compare to France and you can have a beautiful view of the city.

Do you think it is difficult to find a place to live in HCMC?

Actually at the beginning before coming here, I was thinking I will rent a hotel and then looking for an apartment. And then I found posts from Alex from expat groups and housing groups, I was lucky and I messaged him, then I found that he also French then we can speak in French. Because I was in Korea when I booked the room so he did a Skype visit and showed me all the house. I saw it’s really and I said okay, I took the room. I was lucky because the location of the house is nice for me because it’s right between my workplace and D1 so I can go there everyday, go to Binh Thanh as well and other center district (smile). So I live so close to everything

Do you have any culture shock when arriving here?

Maybe the language, I’ve never heard about it before and I have no idea what’s your language.  And in Vietnam you always want to go negotiate the price, I’m too shy to do that.

Can you describe Vietnam in one word?

I would say LANDSCAPE, GREEN, LUXURIOUS. This is the image I have from my trip around Vietnam until now (smile).

What is your next destination?

I’m gonna go back home, in France. Because I left it 6 months ago, now I’m doing another 6 months internship here, so it’s going to be 1 year away from France. I want to meet my family again and then I think I will work in France for a while just to get experience and maybe I will travel again. Aww, I do not know yet (smile).

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