32 comments

  1. Well……she just missed out on some cash that I’m sure she could use. Maybe she thought you had some ulterior motive. Regardless, you tried, and that’s all you can do.

  2. Southerners more generosity than northerners. You need to live in the north for a year to support your statement. You know that many people from different provinces move to Saigon to make a living. Those doesn’t make it, they are on the street. That why you see more people on the street in southern than in north. You live in Vietnam long enough to know that Vietnamese government prohibit begging. Vietnamese government round up beggars and send them to special camp. In the South, large number of charity organize give out food for the needy. People hang around on the street waiting charity organize give them foods.

  3. Like most old people in VN i would think (based on my XPs), she just doesn’t want to open up about stuff too personal, even for money. There are probably hidden traumas, or maybe she kinda wanna keep some kind of dignity by not mentioning her personal problems and why she became poor (my vietnamese grandma who would be about the same age was kinda like this, i mean she would never talk about her traumas about her chilhood as a bastard daughter, the fact that she was brought in France without choice, lived in a military camp that she never came back to once she got out of it, whereas she lived 5km away from it). Idk tho

  4. Here is an etiquette tip: whenever you meet someone who you feel is older, you do a little bow to greet them. That tells them you are well mannered. It’s always taught as a child so it’s something that translates well with Vietnamese. Even if they could be an older brother or sister. For same age, you would treat them as older for respect.

  5. I wonder whether her suspicion could be a throw back to the more authoritarian rule that was the norm during the war years in the North? She was old enough to think you were a Government Official.

  6. Yes, glad Troy acknowledged that he’s laughing at their hardships by habit instead of building trust by listen with empathy & ask them how he can help them make their day better.

    Tip: Listen to the audio book “How to Win Friends & Influence People “ by Dale Carnegie for practical lessons.

  7. It is her loss, next time come my way, I am in Melbourne. 😁 Maybe it is cos it is a bit dark out there. She may be thinking you are a thug out to rob her. Next time wave the money at her. Never mind, Troy. ❤

  8. Wow, unthinkable here where I live where you get approached almost every time you walk out the door. This is why I am getting more respect for SE Asians more and more. That lady, been through it all. The war, age, illness, doesn’t matter. She’s working.

  9. You could be correct that laughing with bad timing could give the wrong impression! I notice you have a tendency to laugh when your nervous etc . Maybe you could retrain yourself not to. Since it may be better and get a more effective result if you could not laugh when your nervous but only when something is really funny. Not to say you don’t want to smile when you meet them and show genuine concern and a happy face. And probably ingrained and easier said than done. 🥴 🤷🏼‍♀️ But in any language that can put people off or confuse them. But you are a great guy! And generous. Not to detract from your good qualities! 👍🙂

  10. Troy, you actually had a decent conversation going with her. You didn’t have to abruptly ask for an interview, turning it from a casual conversation to a formal interview.

  11. Troy, Hanoi has won the world’s respect! Our Vietnamese people – even the old – have to work to make a living! She’s more than 80 years old, man. In US you see some young men standing around asking for money or even causing troubles. We surely don’t want them in Vietnam.

  12. you didn’t need to ask her for an interview. just talk to her like a normal person. northerners are usually more reserved, don’t tend to wear their hardships on their sleeve, and avoid awkward situations. you have a big heart but i can tell that you are socially awkward. i am too but i worked on it a lot. when you talk to someone, if you are nervous, they get nervous. you tend to laugh inappropriately when they tell you their hardships probably because you are nervous. just listen, absorb, don’t react. you also tend to give some people way too much money. who am i to judge how you do charity but this is also very awkward especially when you give money to people who don’t need it like the lady at vuon chuoi market. like i said, who am i to judge, this is your money and your donors’ money but you asked for advice on etiquette. couple million to someone like the kidney girl is fine. but a couple million to some person on the street you haven’t vetted is *cringe* every time i watch it. you are a good person so don’t take this as criticism just my observations so take them with a grain of salt.

  13. Follow her and find her then buy all the water she has OR that you can carry and give half of it back to her so she is not empty handed to sell a couple of them again (don’t want to disrupt the business operation people that recognize her without water to sell)…. Keep up the great efforts !!!

  14. Not intending to sound mean but don’t you have any Vietnamese friends over there that you interact with? Your oldest video is 7 years ago so I guess you’ve been living in Vietnam for several years now. I would of thought that being immersed in the culture daily for that long your Vietnamese language skills, etiquette etc would be at a pretty good level by now(?) However you often mention yourself that your language skills aren’t great and that you come across as blunt(?) I don’t speak Vietnamese myself but I can still sense the awkwardness in some of your interactions. Maybe time to consider getting some formal lessons and/or joining some social activities/clubs to increase your opportunities to learn from others?

  15. Yes. I think when you asked her for an interview, she probably thought you were a Chinese spy and would report her to the Viet authorities for selling ware without a license. You should’ve just kept on with the small talk which could been disguised as an interview. The small talk was going well till you said you want to interview her. When ever you buy small things like water from old old people, I always expect you to pull out $500,000 to pay for $10k, and they when they fiddle for change, you tell them to keep the change (I have yet to see yo do). And make turn them into Caucasian.

  16. Troy she think that her time will just be wasted by your interview. She has to sell those stuff. I agree your intention is good but you should be wary about the people you are interviewing. You are a complete stranger to them and introduction is very important in dealing people to get their attention and trust. Its not just about money you dole out. Its how you communicate and relate to your objective.
    Just saying…

  17. I am very surprised at the phones and internet service, is so plentiful among the poor there. Maybe she didn’t want to be seen (interview) by family and friends?

    Everyone have a great weekend.

  18. Isn’t it obvious, she jolted outta there once you said I want to do an interview and film it. She got spooked man thinking you’re some kind of an undercover cop.

  19. Can’t speak for that area of the world but yes, when I hear you laugh at some people telling you about extreme hardship it may sound like you’re laughing at them.
    Just my opinion..

    You do great work though.

  20. few points from this video I think would worth pointed out from my Viet northern root POV:
    – try not to chuckle, I know it’s hard since the language barrier but it sounds suspicious
    – again language barrier, but those are selling stuff on the street are normally not very well – educated, using as simple as possible words would make you more relatable so they’d feel easier to talk to you. eg: instead of saying “phong van”, say “ngoi xuong noi chuyen chut xem nao, co”
    other tricks to break the ice:
    – while they approach you, try to talk a little more about their products and your need. most of them are pretty persistent, that’ll make them feel they actually earn the sale. for instance asking “what do you have here?” , if she offers water then maybe ask for “anything to eat” or a fan since it was hot,etc… you dont have to buy but it’ll make them talk to you more.
    – everyone sees the fact that you are not from there and it is fine, maybe try to talk about your personal life a little before them (with a little compliment in it, not too much that could make them bluff), for instance in this video, it would be more relatable for her if you said things like “my grandma is about your age but she’s not as strong as you” or “I am a man myself but I dont think I can carry that much stuff around for 10 hours a day”

    It is hard to de-layer them, please don’t give up on those ladies, especially the elders. They’ve been treated as third class citizens in their whole life by everyone. My heart goes to them and thank you for keep doing the great work. I am happy to give you in any social tips in the North if you ever need some.

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