Sometimes cultural differences are things you are most annoyed about but you can learn a lot from them :)
This morning I was driving to an appointment with my friend. He is a Finnish guy with whom I talk a lot on Facebook because I sometimes give him explanations for the Vietnamese language lessons he is now taking. So on the way to the meeting I called him to confirm the time, and he didn't pick up the phone. When he called me back, he said he is already home, so no meeting. I felt very annoyed, but he said we didn't agree on an exact time and place though I thought we did. How come this happened? Here is the answer.
For Vietnamese people when we say somewhere close by the University of Social Science and Humanity (USSH) after 12am, could mean “I’m okay for an appointment”. I assumed that of course I can drive to USSH around 12 and call him. It is very common for Vietnamese people to make assumptions or understand something on your own. But to a Finnish guy, he said an appointment should have exact time and place. Unfortunately, we didn't have an agreement about that. That's why he went home, because he didn't think that there was any agreement about a meeting. The picture beside is of the conversation between him and I on Facebook. When he said "Sure" I thought it was all set and that's why I went there.
I learned my lesson. In the future I will be more careful when making appointments and what is even more important for me, is to learn that when making friends with foreigners, its sometimes difficult but it's absolutely worth it. You learn about your own culture as well as learn to understand them.
P/s: I can only say this after arguing with him about him not waiting for me, haha.
I'm a happy Vietnamese girl who enjoys traveling and meeting new people. This blog is about my travels and life.