Roger Ferrell is the President of Kid’s First Enterprise, a social enterprise company that donates all profits to support disadvantaged children, focusing on kids with disabilities and those suffering from cancer. They run two large events each year in HCMC and use the money to buy wheelchairs. They buy in excess of 100 wheelchairs annually. The next one is The Bourbon Street Jazz Festival, on the last Saturday in May at Cargo in District 4.
Can you suggest a hidden gem or little-known Saigon Attraction?
I think that most of the venues are pretty well known these days, but really I like the idea of Street Foodie Saigon. They organise tours around various street food vendors in the city. It’s a great way to find the good ones.
As we approach Tet, what are you wishes for the New Year?
I think my wish for the new year is to continue supporting the children that we do. I hope our business continues to be successful enough to support more disadvantaged people in Vietnam.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you in Vietnam?
I was robbed by two motorbike bandits and it happened with such efficiency that it completely took me by surprise. I was at a bus stop, with my briefcase containing my laptop. It was gone before I even knew what was happening.
What is one thing about life in Saigon that pisses you off the most?
I would have to say that business banking is the biggest pain in the ass, in my life. I worked in banking in the States and it is seriously bad here. It should not take 15 minutes to make a simple withdrawal. Another thing is that I shouldn’t have to be scared for my life on a footpath because of the motorbikes.
Vietnamese lovers have a problem. Convention dictates that public shows of real affection are taboo. We’re not talking about doing the “thing” here, merely kissing and cuddling is frowned upon by one of the most conservative societies on earth. So young lovers are forced into standing on the Thu Tiem Bridge gazing at the night city skyline or congregating on Mai Chi Tho to sit on a motorbike and fly a kite. There is an innocence about Vietnamese society that is actually quite charming. Young couples actually enjoy the simply things in life, in a way that is lost to ...
When you are dating or married to someone from another culture, it is inevitable that your habits will butt heads at some point. But over time you learn to accept these clashes, and though they can sometimes be unfortunate they are often hilarious. As veterans of the Vietnamese-Western relationship, David Perry, creator of “The Vietnamese Wife, Western Husband Club” and I both know this very well! So we put our heads together to come up with a few hilarious examples. Do any of these apply to you? Example 1: The question of “free stuff” Let’s say you and your ...