Admit it. You love a naughty night out occasionally. When you get given that “leave pass” to go out with your mates, you revel in swearing, doing shots and generally acting juvenile for a few ugly hours.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Pasteur Street “strip” in District 1 has become the unofficial beat for a devilish night out with close to 30 bars in and around the area, tended by scantily-clad, good-looking young women eager to help you part ways with your cash for drinks.
Inspired by a recent article in goodfood.com.au called 10 rules for using the pub this summer, we’ve decided to put together our own 10 rules for visiting Pasteur Street bars this year. Having a naughty, fun night out is one thing, but being a dick doing it is another. Don’t be that dick.
So here are 10 rules for visiting Pasteur Street bars this year. Follow them and we’re all cool.
Give a tip
There are no hard and fast rules for tipping, that’s why it remains a grey area on a night out. It’s entirely up to you as to how much you’d like to tip, but at least give one. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how elevated your experience is next time by acknowledging the service this time. For all the newcomers out there, don’t be a dick, get used to it. This is how it rolls in Vietnam.
None of your business
Don’t care what’s in a lady drink (the drink you buy the lady serving you). Lady drinks are how the ladies make their money. As you can imagine, base salaries are low at these bars, so upselling on lady drinks is one way they can boost their earning capacity. The price of a lady drink is generally the same whether she’s drinking straight orange juice or a screwdriver. Don’t be a dick by demanding to smell or taste the lady drink. It’s not about getting her drunk.
Tip the parking guy
It can be easy to forget after a few drinks and a heady experience inside, but tipping the parking guy could be one of the most important things you do on a night out. Not only do they park and take care of your motorbike, they are some of the best eyes and ears about the place. And if you decide to take a taxi home, some may even allow you to leave your motorbike in the venue. We suggest you take a taxi in the first place anyway. Don’t be a dick by drinking and driving.
Don’t even think about changing that song
Pasteur Street bars are quite unique in that they allow you to play whatever music you want. There’s nothing like hanging with your mates over a few drinks and listening to your favourite tunes. But there’s nothing worse than when some dick and his mates come in and commandeer the computer. By all means request some favourite tunes, but don’t be a dick by muscling in on the mouse before your turn and playing obscure new wave tracks from the 80s that no one knows, it’s a surefire way to kill the party vibe.
Get off your high horse
Don’t pretend you’ve never been or never go to these bars. Climb down off that high horse of yours, order a drink and chill out. No one is going to force you to do anything, except maybe down a few Jager Bombs. You’re not breaking the law, you’re not cheating on your partner and you’re not dehumanising the staff…if you keep your hands to yourself and respect the ladies, that is. Just don’t be a dick by looking down your nose at everyone else having a good time.
What’s in a name?
We become forgetful after a few drinks, but if there’s one thing you need to remember on a night out, it’s the name of the lady serving your drinks. Make the effort to remember her name because you can bet she’ll remember yours. If you haven’t noticed already, the Vietnamese are specialists at putting a face and a name together after months, even years, of not seeing you. Remember her name so you don’t come across as just another ignorant dick next time round.
Just because you’re buying lady drinks and she’s gleefully accepting them, it doesn’t mean you’ve earned the right to sleep with her. These ladies aren’t working girls. They’re showing all that interest in you because they have bills to pay like everyone else, not because you’re a handsome silver fox sliding comfortably into the second half of your life, like you think. Don’t be a dick by making her feel like she’s a commodity.
Head over heels
No doubt, these bars can lead one into temptation, but a golden rule is don’t get too involved with the ladies. Make sure your relationship with them remains purely transactional in the sense that you’re buying a drink and she’s serving it to you. They say that possession is nine-tenths of the law, but thinking she’s yours just because she makes you feel like Charisma Man, makes you a 10-out-of-10 dick.
Always expect your bill is going to be more than you thought it was going to be. By all means take the time to review it when it arrives, but chances are you’ve forgotten it was three lady drinks you bought, not two, or one of the other guys in your group has ordered a few extra behind your back. Don’t be a dick by taking it out on the ladies. Sit down, take a breath, put on your glasses and sort it out.
Don’t walk in like you own the joint (unless you actually do), chest out, rubbing your hands together and tapping every girl on the backside as you brush by. We see you. You’re the dick who’s just walked in and thinks only now the party’s starting. But we have news for you. It started long before you got here. Take a seat, dick. Someone will be with you when they’re ready.