Grab and other forms of communication.



Australia doesn’t have GRAB and Vietnam no longer has UBER.  Another thing I never did in Australia was use an Uber. Don’t really no why, no justification for it really. Maybe because I lived across the road from a pub.

So for me to download the App and start using GRAB here in Saigon was a big thing. I couldn’t fight it any longer it’s just how things work here. So far so good. Getting the SIM card for my mobile was no easy feat, everyone kept saying “you just go and buy a SIM card” yeah, ah no.  Vinaphone was very helpful and whilst I waited in air-conditioned comfort they got me sorted and gave me the best number ever …01234 … something to be said for keeping things fun and not stressing out about anything. As it isn’t going to help.

So as I become proficient at GRAB and learning basic directions in Vietnamese I slowly learn the city and now have a rough idea of where I am ( in my area or Ward 19) and District 1. Thanks to previous trips I can and have landmarks that I can rely on to get me out of trouble. Point in case yesterday, lost, hopelessly lost even with google maps. Trying to cross four roads at a major roundabout. In the end I used the sun and stumbled across a park I recognised. I had had really good Pho near here with Hero and I recalled a story he told me. In this large public park there are a group of men ( guessing they are African American) prey on western women – who are obviously travelling solo. Yes they found me – they didn’t know it but I had their number way before the “hit”.  I left the park and went to a hotel I had stayed at previously,  Gia Vien. Found a toilet and then made my way across the lane to a restaurant for lunch. Wasn’t long before said “man” looking like a tourist wandering aimlessly finds me and pulls up a seat next to me “can I join you?”

Looked him fair in the eye and said “no” you can’t. That didn’t deter him so I pulled out my phone and loaded the GRAB app and booked a car. It turned up in 60 seconds and once in the car the driver locked the doors. The driver knew what was going on and got me safely to  my next destination Bamboo Bar to meet a friend. I feel safer in this city than parts of home to be honest. The people are kind and caring and even the domestic flights are an experience in themselves.



Published by The Food Manifesto

I am a life explorer, food forager, choice crusader, eco educator, leader, teacher and head and neck cancer survivor. I've loved food all my life, my mum taught me good eating habits and how to cook nutritious food with loads of flavour. As a little girl I lived next door to a wonderful cook Pat Heidrich, I watched as she rolled pastry, filled cupcakes and prepared light as a feather sponges. My love of licking bowls and beaters started early. I grew up and explored my passion by studying cooking, trawling food markets, buying good equipment and experimenting with the tastes and cuisines I love. This blog is intended to share my passion, inspire you to try ...and fail, provide tips and every day good advice about cooking, shopping for ingredients, and planning menus for you, your family and friends. What's your food manifesto? talk to me about how I can help you.

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