Vietnamese men are “lazy, eager for drinking” in foreigners’ eyes

VietNamNet Bridge – “In HCM City, I always see men gather in groups in coffee shops, restaurants or pavement beer shops to drink before or after the office hours. Vietnamese men are too lazy,” commented Alex, an Australian.

Alex, a businessman who goes to Vietnam very often, said that anytime he went to Vietnam, he saw coffee shops or restaurants were occupied by groups of men before, during or after working hours.

He said: “Sometimes I looked at the clock, it was 6pm. It is the time for men to stay at home to help their wives and children. If they have babies, they have to help their wives more. Why do they spend their time to drink together?”

According to a research work on alcohol abuse in Vietnam, carried out by the Institute for Health Strategy and Policy, 63 percent of alcohol users are men. Intellectuals account for high ratio among them.

Vietnamese people consume around 1.3 billion liters of beer and more than 300 liters of alcohol annually, worth hundreds of thousand billion dong (hundred million USD).

After nearly one year living in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Henry, a French, said he still did not understand why Vietnamese men liked staying at coffee shops and restaurants to drink, not returning to their home.

Henry, who is manager of a famous resort in Vung Tau city, said that as a businessman, he had to see and drink with business partners but he was always aware of his wife and children waiting for him at home, so he tried to return home as soon as possible to help his wife with some housework.

“I asked many people and they said that it is very normal in Vietnam. While women are responsible for taking care of their family and children, their husbands only have to earn money. Many men plead their business requiring seeing and drinking with partners to not go home until midnight. If their wives ask them, they even insult and beat their wives.”

Henry, 37, said that he has some Vietnamese friends who got married and have children. Though these women outstandingly take care of and sacrifice themselves for their husbands and their children, but their families are not very happy.

“Any man who can marry them are lucky but my friends still complained that their husbands were not at home after work. If they go home, they only go to bed and they never clean house or wash dishes for their wives. Do they think that family belongs to only women?” Henry wondered.

Saigon is the called the “sleepless city”. Restaurants are fully occupied at night by mainly men. With several dried squids and a bottle of rice wine, they can spend their time until midnight.

At 11.20pm, a snail restaurant on D2 road, Binh Thanh district, HCM City was still overcrowded with a hundred men who were clinking glasses together.

The restaurant owner said that the restaurant opens from 4pm to 2am. It welcomes around 300 people each night, on average.

“Not only my restaurant, but also other restaurants in this city work the same way. After drinking, some are drunk and exchange blows. Some women coming here to recall their husbands were beaten by their men,” the restaurant owner said.

It is very popular to see coffee shops and restaurants overcrowded with men after working hours in Hanoi.

At around 4pm, beer shops along Tay Son Road, Dong Da District, Hanoi began to having customers. Though the working hours would end one hour later but beer shops had tens of men. On their tables, there were 5-7 glasses of beer and several plates of roasted peanuts and grilled squids.

From 5pm, more men went to these beer shops. Each of them entered beer shops with a briefcase on their hands. Many people still wore staff cards. After a glass of beer, their stories became very lively and their voices began being loudly. They even talked about their love and sex affairs.

At over 6pm, restaurants along Le Duc Tho Road, My Dinh, Hanoi became extremely bustling. This was the best time for customers to go to restaurants. The adjacent My Dinh Square also entered the golden time of business. Besides male students, there were a large number of office employees. They came in groups, chose a table, ordered several cups of ice tea, a dish of roasted sunflower seeds or a dish of fruit and began chatting until midnight.

On a sedge mat on a grassplot of My Dinh Square, five men of over 30 years old ordered a bottle of rice alcohol, a grilled squid and began to chat.

One man began by telling others that his firm had just signed a big contract and he believed that he would be paid high commission. After that, another man said a group of on-the-job trainees had just come to his company and he was assigned to instruct a pretty girl.

While they were chatting very noisily, two cell phones suddenly rang. The two men immediately lowered their voices: “I’m busy at work. I’ll come home late.” “I’m stuck. I’m going home in several minutes.” One of them suddenly remembered that he forgot to pick up his son from kindergarten. The group quickly dissolved.

Compiled by Na Son