12 Reasons Why Living in Vietnam is Like Living in a Frat House

  1. animal house You Wear Pyjamas All Day Long

They are, after all, comfortable.  Can you really blame the slouchy 20-year-old frat boys or the 70-year-old Vietnamese women for wanting to wear them day in and day out?  The only difference is that frat boys know they’re being lazy.  Vietnamese grannies think they look quite nice.  Matching top and pants?  How convenient!  Who cares if they have snoozing elephants printed all over them?

  1. You Eat Strange Things for Breakfast

In college it was cold pizza and the occasional mouldy Chinese take away from your roommate’s half of the fridge.  Now it’s beef and noodle soup, chicken pate sandwiches or an entire coffee pot’s worth of caffeine in one small sip of Vietnamese coffee.  It’s all good for you.

  1. You Feed Beer to Babies

This one I don’t really understand in either case.  Saw it once in college.  Didn’t like it.  Have seen it a few times in Vietnam.  Still don’t like it.  Babies don’t need beer.  Stop it.


  1. You Find Yourself Awake at 4 in the Morning

In college you hadn’t gone to bed yet.  In Vietnam, it’s time to get up and head to the beach.  Either way it’s too extreme.   Go to bed, all of you.

  1. Beer is the Best Form of Communication

Didn’t matter if you were a poetry major and they were studying engineering at uni, as long as there was beer to fill the table, you had something in common.  In Vietnam you may not all speak the same language as but you can surely mot, hai, ba, yo! with the best of ‘em.  Beer: it brings people together.

  1. You’re on a Different Schedule than Your Parents

Once upon a time you used to talk about meeting up for dinner with friends at 11pm.  Your parents laughed and you didn’t understand why.  Now you may be back in bed on a Friday night before 11, instead of just putting on your heels, but you still find that the 12 or so hour time difference from your home country to Vietnam puts you and your parents in totally different parts of the day.

  1. Younger Girls Want to Date Older Guys

Freshmen love to pull a Senior.  Senior guys, in turn, love to brag about it.  Now take that same concept, apply some socioeconomic dynamics, as you do, add on about 20 to 40 years to the age gap and you’ve just about got the expat dating scene pegged.

  1. You Dress Up Too Much For Dive Bars

This one’s for the girls who live next to the frat house.  Everywhere around you is casual.  Cheap tabs, cheap dates and the occasional rat accompany most nights out.  But that doesn’t stop you from giving in to your inner Carrie Bradshaw.  So what if you stumble in your heels on the uneven pavement or find that those around you are wearing T-shirts scented in One Week’s Use?  You carry on in pursuit of feeling fancy in a place that’s not.

  1. You Throw Things on the Floor of Bars

And once you’ve finally gotten over yourself long enough to take off the stilettos and put back on the flip flops, you embrace the concept of throwing things on the floor.  In college you limited yourself to peanut shells.  In Vietnam chicken bones, beer cans, napkins and all fruit or vegetable related rinds are fair game.

      10. You Pump Music Way Too Loudly, Even When Drinking Coffee

So fun at the time.  So annoying to everyone around you.  Fortunately you don’t hear them whining because, what’s that? , the music’s too loud to make out what they’re saying.

       11. People are Friendly to the Point of Uncomfortable Excess

It’s so nice to feel welcomed.  Thank you for stopping me to say hello.  Oh, now you’re inviting me in for coffee?  How nice.  Now I’m welcome to stay for a beer?  Now dinner?  Why not spend the night?  Waaaiiitt…what’s going on here?

       12. Farm Animals are Inappropriately Incorporated into Non-Farm Life

Every semester at least one pig manages to find its way into the frat house, most often dressed in a football jersey and with a mascot-esq name.  Here in Vietnam roosters are all the rage.  They’re just so useful in, say, ancient times when there were few clocks and even fewer neighbours.  So why not have them  here?  In the middle of the city.  At 4 am.



Both of the aforementioned locales (aka: the way a frat tool would say “the places  in the title”) have some serious positives and some serious fun going for them .  Both are filled with well-meaning and perhaps slightly misunderstood people.  But, for the sake of finding a conclusion and getting on with our lives, both have several unsuspecting similarities that bind them in wonderful weirdness.


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5 responses to “12 Reasons Why Living in Vietnam is Like Living in a Frat House”

  1. Franki says :

    Kath, this is hilarious!!! Brilliant. x

  2. Kelly says :

    Great analogy! Who knew there were so many things in common ? Really well-crafted article.

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