In the streets of Hanoi, motorcycles are dominant, thin buildings are present everywhere.

It's amazing how humans have build upon the society with conscience and perception of things that are different according to race, culture, location. I spent the last days of 2012 and first few days of 2013 along the tourist destinations of the adjacent countries Cambodia and Vietnam, one hot, and the latter chilly for Ha Long Bay.

Set aside those tourists places over here for light notes and insertion of OOTD/WIWT posts and scenic shots, anyone can go click on the search engine and see quality photographs of Angkor Wat, Halong Bay, the city, the people, and at a glance you'd be acquainted with yellow to tan skin looking people working and continuing on their lives.

What was a great takeaway of this trip was the most informative tour leaders aroundand how they have used their lives as hard truths and stories on how they live.

Looks like  a developed city, but honestly within their grounds, not.
There never has been in my travelling with packages and arranged tour leaders who definitely gets commissions on places we go to be this frank, and so upon my dad's tumultuous inquiries on 'how much is the land here?' along with 2 other men in the bus, because of his property background, land became a story that we didnt much know about in Vietnam.

So, Vietnam. How much did I know about the country before? I only knew Pho noodles which I totally love and can eat every day (rice made to noodles. thin beef brisket, fresh aroma of the soup... and rarely found in my living location)... as well as a book about Vietnam cuisine by Bobby Chinn, the interracial chef - one of his roots is having some Vietnam blood and I got the book from the man. I read the preface and history snippets (forget the recipes, definitely no time doing).

But no, upon learning, their lives are so trivial - using American dollars like their own currency, living in tall thin houses, and yet they still can enjoy the higgledy-piggledy of its traffic...
"So we are here to say that 1 meter square costs about US$10,000? In Hanoi?"

"Yes, so that's the reason why all the houses you see here are very long, tall and very thin in its width. We have a lot of floors and pile them instead. Our lives vertically inclined, not horizontal."

"Are the houses rented as well to different families, say to share costs? We heard that the house is divided so the other levels are occupied? Do you move out when you have a family?"

"No, but for me my house is not shared, it is owned by my mother. I still live with my mother; it is hard to move out because of the exorbitant price for land."

And yet, with that Vietnam's currency is half of my country, Indonesian Rupiah. Rp 1000 and we'll get 2000 Dongs. The living costs are so low; we purchased goods and stuff with a haggle and it was worth every penny for a good-looking polished souvenirs and outfits. I mean, this is a balanced input and output... sort of (the land is still really out of disbelief).

To compare, Indonesia has the same sort of faces Vietnamese people have, in terms of skin color and facial structures. I felt that I was home, except a different language was spoken.

Clothes were reasonably priced (of course, for what I'm always obviously after) with a touch of craft, rather than your usual high street. Same goes to Cambodia - which reminds me of why the largest creators of our sport sneakers ends up here for a wage of only US$85 a month for each worker and still be able to scrape and save cash from it (meaning the output is reasonably low).

Although, being paid in dollars, we also see Starbucks that has a standard price of $6 per cup. So inevitably, if one does come in to drink from a hard day's labor in the Nike factory, they spent almost 3 days of hard work for a coffee cup. Can you even pin a starting point?

In Cambodia, I bought pants that was, after haggling, US$3. And that was only to buy only one, and not aplenty. Wonder how much it'll be for wholesale, and how much is the actual product price - what goes in the material, creation, sewing, and distribution? In today's world, $3 for elephant awesomeness is just, bewildering. (You will agree with me so d'oh, go take a look what the pants look like up up there. Nevermind, here it is).

My business neurons are really thinking for online wholesale and retailing right now. Bangkok wasn't as cheap as this, but only in its variety that won, with trendy cuts and the current colors and patterns, so that's fair.


A few years ago, I believe Nike got the call to make their factories fair and ethical in wage. Hope that settles for this year to increase - one pair of a Nike shoe without retail price would only cost US$4.
The rest of the hundred dollars goes to R and D, technology, packaging, branding values, and all the employees of the company.

In Indonesia, a new graduate will earn about roughly US$250. Middle class would use their own transport and fuel charge isn't cheap to commute to ends in a long traffic. Food prices per meal is as low as $2.5 per meal in a food court, and a restaurant about $10.

Singapore, the place I lived to study, will be fair to give S$2000+ to fresh grads, full time. Living costs for rent and food has the same value like in Indonesia. This is why you will meet many Indons, foreigners, Malays that attest their working life because finance input and outputs are balanced.
How trivial can living be? You let me know.

Signing off from a city attacked by the USA from their museum.
This is the real deal In 10 words or less...
#Vietnam #Cambodia life situation in that's TRIVIAL to today's humans.

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