Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Better Life?

Coming to big cities wishing for a new, better life is a common dream for countryside people in Viet Nam. If you follow my blog, you would have seen lots of different stories about pavement pounders. It's difficult to imagine how hard these people have to work for just a small amount of money. Of course there are some luckier people who find a good job with a reasonable income but this percentage is very low and it requires that they have some special talents or are well educated but it still depends on luck as well.

I have spoken to lots of different people before writing this. I went to see where they live, in tiny rooms of about 10 square meters, smelly and dirty where about 15 people stay over night. They pay about 5000Vnd for a night and I can't really imagine what it's like in the winter or in a rainy season. It probably floods or it'd be really damp, cold and stinky.

Even though they tolerate such bad living conditions, people don't seem to care and they still come to the city. In their minds, they honestly think that a wonderful life in a beautiful city is possible regardless of the risks involved. A simple theft of their daily money could ruin their life.

18 comments:

fooDcrazEE said...

thats life BRO !......better than unemployed right ?

FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

That's very sad to know but that is how life is over there. People who have been born there have accustomed themselves with this kind of living conditions.

slurp! said...

our forefathers have gone thru that paths as well, in searh better life. i guess most are in city to seek employment & opportunities.

April said...

this happens all over the world. even here in the u.s.a. sounds a lot like the mexican migrant workers. they live 15 to 20 people to a small room. they spend most of their days doing hard labor for virtually nothing. they are also targeted by criminals because they are illegal immigrants and often afraid to go to the police. it is very sad. they have such hopes for themselves and their families. i admire the dedication...

junebee said...

As April said, it's the same here with Mexican migrant workers. The conditions of the trailers they livein are atrocious - broken plumbing, exposed electrical wires, holes in the floor and broken windows. But to them it is better then where they came from.

Nanny G. (from Peru) made the remark that "If I had to be poor, I'd rather be poor in the U.S.".

Do you know some success stories about these people from the countryside of Vietnam?

NWO said...

There is a saying in the USA: "the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence." Meaning, that we always see opportunities in the place we are not. It is, I think, human nature to move and try to make life better. Many fail, but some succeed. And society flourishes because of those successes.

Thank you for these posts.

Buddhist with an attitude said...

God, I've been meaning to ask you: do Vietnamese citizens have to carry a national ID card or some other ID papers that they have to present when asked (by police, say). Are the people allow to move and settle wherever they want or do they need a permit?
Thank you for your postings.
P.S. OT, have you listen to the latest CD by Neil Young? http://www.livingwithwar.blogspot.com/

black feline said...

a better life...the never ending quest thru ages...that's the reality..i remember one indian worker in Dubai..he saved about US$300 over 2 years and someone in his bunk stole it..he was so davastated that he had a minor seizure and was admitted to hospital for 3 days :(

traveller one said...

Found your blog via April... It's really fascinating! I'm adding a link to you on my blog so I can return often.

alan said...

There are people in this world who will grasp at whatever opportunity arises to try to better themselves; there are others presented with chance after chance who can't bring themselves to reach out and grasp it for fear of losing what they already have...

alan

Rose said...

LIfe is hard everywhere. In some cases when families work and live together as in 10 to 15, they tend to fare better when building businesses. Our problem is that we don't work together.

JLB said...

This is a topic I think on often. For myself, I prefer country living to city life any day, but I also realize that I have never lived in the conditions that you've described in your post, nor have I ever been starving.

It seems to me that if I were to find myself without money, food, or a job, that I would rather retreat to the forests and live off the land than gravitate to the cities. But as I said, I've never had to make that choice, so my perspective is somewhat limited to my own experiences.

g.knotee said...

Vietnam is very very similar to the Philippines since we are both developing countries. Most of the farmers in the countryside sell their land/cattle and use the money to try their luck in the city. Little do they know, life in the city is worse.

extreMEly said...

Like the comments before me, life is hard and it doesn't always play fair. but i don't think we should stop at that. i think we should learn and analyze about why life is hard for developing countries and figure out a way to help them. you know they say that our world makes enough as a whole to feed everyone on this earth, than why are there still thousands dying from hunger and malnutrition? There needs to be ways to allocate our resources to help those who need it. I don't believe in everyone for themselves, i believe in everyone helping each other out because nobody deserves to die of hunger.

Beach said...

God,
Looking forward to meet you in Hanoi. This will be my first time meeting a GOD, vietnamese or otherwise. Can you pass on the name of the restaurant that you have with your 3 best friend in November 05. I will be there middle of July, would love to have a beer or 2 with God.

Godknows said...

Thanks for all comments. I know there are some other places out of Viet Nam has the same situation but If you ever come to Hanoi, I will show you guy about this .
BEach, I love beer. I couldn't find where is the restaurant. email me to tuvancong2003@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hi..

So nice to come across your blog.. I will link your blog to my friends so that they can understand Hanoi better..

Thanks.

BTW, i'm an expat live in Hanoi. It's been 1 year already.. and i have another 2 more years.

xlpharmacy said...

I'm one that say you can make a better ife if you want, many say "if you don't have the resources you cant" is not the resources, is the chances, and you make the chances by yourself