I’ve left a few more comments on Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre News online. Since they don’t always get past moderation, I want to keep track of them here. I just commented on Playing in the traffic by Stivi Cooke.
I like the author’s creativity. I think there are some common misconceptions here. One is that people aren’t aware of the laws. I think people know they are breaking traffic laws but they do it anyways, just like Vietnamese people break many other laws where they know they won’t get caught. The second misconception is that hiring traffic law enforcers is expensive. Actually, many people are willing to work as traffic cops, because the “extra pay” is so high.
Ever since HuffPo posted a very negative article on Vietnam tourism, vowing to never return due to the scams everywhere, there has been a great deal of discussion about the topic on blogs, on Facebook, and with a series of stories published by Tuoi Tre. I have left a number of comments on Tuoi Tre’s site but I can’t see that they’ve been published so here’s my latest comment on
Ripping off tourists: Where are the business ethics?
We can blame each individual vendor and we can hope each of them has a turn of heart and decides to stop ripping customers off but we won’t solve the image problem by just changing the ways of individuals. It is Vietnam’s problem, and foreigners blame Vietnamese culture, maybe something corrupt in the soul of everyone in Vietnam. I don’t think the solution is to reach out to unscrupulous sellers who won’t even be reading this article. We need a regulatory environment where businesses will actually think twice about breaking the law and individuals will think twice about helping such businesses. I think most people realize what they’re doing is wrong. They just also realize they won’t get caught and if they do they won’t face any serious punishment.