About 20 days ago, I left Germany and arrived here in Vietnam. After having travelled around Vietnam for the first two weeks, I am now back to Ho Chi Minh city and I am probably gonna stay here for about a week or two. The city reminds me a bit of Guangzhou/China but at the same time it is totally different. Big cities in Asia are always a place where cultures and ethnicities and social classes clash and that’s what makes Asian cities so vibrant and lively. No matter where you go, there is always something new to discover and to look at. Ho Chi Minh is definitely a place like that, but it’s also not for everyone, as being in a ‘restless’ city like that can be quite exhausting as well. For me HCM is the perfect place to get some inspiration for my artwork, dive into Vietnamese culture and meet new people. Just in the last few days I met so many interesting, new people it’s incredible and it also showed me once again how much I have changed in the past few years. Some years ago, going to a restaurant on my own, would have been a nightmare. I often was super self-conscious and would have felt lonely. Now I don’t have any issues going to a restaurant all by myself and I don’t feel awkward at all doing that. I am a lot more relaxed than I used to be and I just take things as they come. And I have trust. I have trust, that things will work out and that if I just go out there and do what I feel like doing, the rest will come. I really think, that your outside is a reflection of your inside, so if you are open minded and happy with yourself, people can see that and they are much more willing to talk to you than if all they can see in your face is insecurity and worry and discomfort.
Although I am travelling alone , I am never really alone. I go to restaurants and five minutes later I am talking to someone next to me or someone who I met outside and who then joins me for a meal. Since being in Ho Chi Minh I haven’t had to have dinner alone, not even once. It is so easy to meet new people and I really don’t know why it used to be so difficult for me or why I was always so shy and nervous. The key is to just go out and talk to people, it is as easy as it sounds…and you got nothing to lose, when you are positive you will attract positive people most of the time. Of course there are bad people out there and you have to be careful sometimes, but you will be surprised how many of the good ones are out there.
Here in Ho Chi Minh there are a lot of street vendors and motorbike taxis, especially in the district I am living in at the moment. Yes, street vendors can be annoying at times, especially if they follow you and ask you 100 times if you wanna buy something and tell you how cheap it is, but even there I met some really nice people. Of course they want to sell their stuff to you, but they are also normal people who appreciate a good conversation or a friendly smile. There is a ‘motorbike taxi guy’ who always waits for customers not far from where I live. I see him every day and in the beginning, when I passed by I just always shook my head and said ‘no, thank you’ (which is still a lot more friendly than what some other people do), but then after he had asked me for the 4th time and told me again how cheap it was, I stopped and told him ‘hey, I am sorry but even if it was for free…I don’t need a ride, I like walking and I don’t live far from here.’ After that we had a really nice conversation and he asked me a ton of questions about Germany, while we were waiting for customers for him. Since that day, he always asks me how I am and what my plans for the day are when I pass by in the morning. This morning I shared my breakfast bananas with him and he thought it was the funniest and craziest thing ever. So yeah, try to give people a chance from time to time, cause some people have so much to give and you will only see that, if you walk around with your eyes and your heart open.