Wednesday, March 9, 2011

You Paint Me a Blue Sky and Go Back And Turn It To Rain

I have a bad habit of forming completely incorrect first impressions regarding the men I am interested in. I’d venture 75% of the time I am off base at first. The men I think are players and to be wary of turn out to be kind, loving and loyal while the nice, harmless guys are the snakes who leave me wounded.

Most of my bad luck as arisen since my arrival in Hanoi. I think it’s because the men here are just worse than anywhere else in the world that I’ve seen. There is no right way to say this, no way that it going to keep me from scrutiny or from receiving comments about being bitter. I don’t care, I’m going to say it anyway. There are very few eligible men in Hanoi. Hanoi (and maybe other places in SE Asia) changes people relationship-wise, often times for the worst.

Classic Hanoi Man Syndrome (CHMS). Here's how it happens: Ordinary/average/uncool unattractive men move to Hanoi. Experience a rush of attention from gorgeous, intelligent Vietnamese and foreign women. Believe the hype. Become miscreants. Treat women as if they are expendable. Experience no repercussions. Repeat process. Then go back to their country. Think the same rules apply. Reality hits hard.

I have seen men arrive here being wonderful and idealistic and then getting caught up and turning into a complete slimeball. One they have success with one hot girl they turn into a monster. Yet that has little to no effect on their “pulling” capability. They can be as terrible as they want and still have women crawling all over them.

I don’t think this makes me a bitter expat. I’d feel the exact same way if I noticed a man (or woman) behaving that way in NYC. Shabby treatment of people is inexcusable regardless of how “wonderful” or “attractive” you are led to believe you are. In fact, the more blessed you are, the kinder you should be to others. (Example: I know a man, who is breathtakingly gorgeous. People have been known to actually drop their jaw and lose their train of thought when meeting him for the first time. This man, however, is charming, humble, considerate, and COULDN’T be any nicer. Seriously, he’s so nice it can actually be annoying. If HE can behave like a stellar human being, so can everyone else)

While the men have it golden, the women who come here find themselves having to lower their standards if they want any chance at a romantic life. They find themselves getting involved with guys they’d never normally look at and putting up with situations they are much too good for simply because they have to. Because that’s the way it is here.

I don’t date out here. Not really anyway. I had one involvement(yes we all know about that) and after that I stopped. I have claimed it’s to get over him but it’s really because there is no one I’ve met here that I’d consider. Unlike so many women I’ve seen here, I am not going to lower my standards for a little bit of romantic attention. I’m perfectly content with my friends, hobbies, job, and Skype dates. I've relished in taking this time to be “single”

*I am only generalizing. I by no means think every Hanoi expat male is like this. It’s just some casual observations shared among others. I think there are a lot of amazing men out here, and am friends with many of them.


  1. Btw I have been reading your blog since before I came to VN 10 months ago. Your blog is quite good and I admire how honest you are in it. You are quite right about how Hanoi is very different place for the expat men and women. As a guy here all of us hear the siren call of becoming "that guy". We do get lots of positive attention here. I, for a time, wondered if, by some strange circumstance, I was the Hasslehoff of Vietnam. I dread the day when VNese figure out the truth about most of us expat guys. Most of us fit into some very bad groupings: peter pan, the alky, the reject who can make it where he comes from, ... I'm sure I'm leaving out some other bad ones. I pray to God everyday I'm part of a better category.

  2. As I said, it's just an over generalization. I have AMAZING expat male friends here, who are funny, smart, charming, attractive and don't fall into the bad groupings. I wrote this, obviously, when I was angry. That's the problem with my blog...I write what i feel and then the next day I'm over it but it's still out there :)

    Anyway, I'm sure you are the Hasslehoff of Vietnam and I'm glad you like my blog. It's always a lovely ad surprising thing to hear!!!

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  5. alice, thats garbage.
    didnt you say men are assholes simply for not being you drinks because of your gender? do you have a problem with women asking men they dont know to buy drinks , and dont even thank them for it? and even insult them for NOT doing it? of course, she could make 60,000 a year, and he could be a single father working at mcdonalds, but given that he has a Y chromosome, he still has to pay (even on ladies night.)

    i could say a lot about women who love to emasculate men with penis jokes, call intact men gross and disgusting, imprison men ith false accusations, steal child away from fathers with false domestic abuse accusations. i could say how american women are SO misandric that all men are castigated as helpess losers, doomed to be poor fathers. or how almost every movie or commercial insults and demeans men.

    i could say a lot about how as a male, im told im a rapist, a pervert, my bodily integrity means nothing, my life is cheap and dispensable, im probably an overweight loser who needs viagra, etc.
    vietnamese men are conscripted at age 18 (forced into the army) for two years, and retire at an older age, despite living SHORTER- the vietnamese male life expectancy is 68, and they retire at 60. so they get 8 years of retirement. vietnamese women live until 74, and retire at 55. 19 years of retirement.
    your german friend would find a similar situation.

    and so you know, domestic violence in america is COMPLETELY ignored when men are the victims. ive read of husbands assaulted with a weapon by their wives, and when they called the police (bleeding) THEY were arrested, because over 20 states have mandatory male arrest laws.

    it's extremely sexist to paint this all on men, considering its a female thing 50% more frequently.
    men are expected to hold a 100% respect for women, and the slightest remark and he is a sexist, chauvinistic pig, but when the roles are reversed and a blanket statement is made against a man, its funny, true, or forgiven the next day.

    every wall has two sides.

  6. um Michael, I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not talking about wars or emasculating anyone, domestic violence etc.

    Clearly you misinterpreted the nature of the blog. And while you chastise me over making a general blanket statement, you have done the exact same thing when claiming that all women expect men to pay for everything. I don't let men buy drinks for me at bars. I pay for myself (and often others-both male and female) when I am out, whether it be at a bar, or at the movies or at dinner. I am incredibly independent and self sufficient (just ask anyone I've ever dated, or my current boyfriend) I don't expect or want to be "taken care of" or "spoiled" I don't care about money or if it's being spent on me.

    What this post is about, is common decency. Treating people with respect. Not being an asshole and treating people as if they're disposable.