But it’s babies who are the true rock stars in Vietnam. “Em oi.” It means “hey you” but slightly more polite.Vietnamese people enjoy childish boisterousness and it’s perfectly ok for kids to run around and be noisy in public places. Use this term to get attention in restaurants, hotels, guest houses — just about anywhere. But be aware that “em” is used to address people younger or subordinate to you.It’s put there to subdue the toilet smell, apparently. Tea is free In most restaurants, you’ll be served iced tea when you arrive. If you need something, shout “em oi” and you’ll get someone’s attention. Some tourist and backpacker restaurants serve per-person meals – as in you get the whole plate of food for yourself.Don’t be offended when a waitress slouches over and unceremoniously dumps a plate on the table, then turns and slouches off. But not many of those places understand the Western concept of all meals being served at once so everyone can eat at the same time.
I was initially concerned about how waitresses would take Miss M away from me.
A dear friend jets off to Vietnam next week with her toddler son, slightly apprehensive about her first overseas trip as a single mother.
The unstoppable Ms J is a seasoned traveler and she tells me she’s got the single mum routine well and truly under control.
But, after being repeatedly reassured that no one planned to steal the baby, I learned to enjoy having a bit of time to eat with no one on my lap, using both hands! It should be OK, even if lollies before dinner isn’t your idea of entree.
Young children, especially light-haired children, will get similar treatment.