|Country of Origin||Vietnam|
|Date of Birth||1966|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||2007|
|Submitted by||Uyen Do|
An Australian man came to Saigon to visit me in November 2007. He wanted me to be his partner in Sydney. He told me he was searching for a traditional type of wife. I think he meant a submissive wife. Alright he will get one. He looks and talks OK and he is polite. No risk no gain I thought. I will give it a try. What is so good about getting married? Now I know. It is fun and enjoyable, most of the time.
The nine hours flight on Vietnam Airlines to Sydney in December 2007 was bumpy and uncomfortable. I could not get much sleep. On arrival in the morning I was very tired. My niece’s husband drove like a maniac. I vomited at the car park of the city apartment. My partner was gentle and allowed me to have a shower and a nap. Then he drove me back to my nieces’ home at Green Valley. He is a careful and gentle driver. My nieces live in a big house and I have my own big room for the first few months.
We were married in April 2008. My husband talks a lot. In the beginning, I did not understand him much. After two years of learning English at Sydney TAFE, I am beginning to understand more but I pretend not to understand. It is better that way. He always talk about money. He writes down everything he spends in his diary. Back home we are not so fussy. My husband wants me to learn to drive but Australia drives on the wrong side of the road. In Vietnam we drive on the right side and traffic is so slow and comfortable. Cars are so fast in Australia and after two years of learning, I still do not dare to drive on busy Sydney streets. My husband insists that I practice my driving even on highways. He insisted that I drive even on the Hume Freeway. His excuses was he was tired and sleepy. Driving in Victoria is more fun because I can drive at 110 kph with my learner’s licence. I enjoy overtaking trucks, slow vehicles and other learner drivers.
I teach my husband to sing at Karaoke. He is better now and I like him singing romantic songs and look into my eyes with nice expressions. I also teach him to dance but he cannot remember the steps. I give up.
I am lucky. My husband like Vietnamese and Chinese food. Australian food such as bread, cheese, milk, butter, pizza, steaks and sushi taste terrible to me. I like the food at Cabramatta and Bankstown and especially Hanoi restaurant in Marrickville. The running steamed chicken, grilled belly pork and glass noodle soup with pork and crab meat balls are so good. He also like the Yum Cha at Phoenix and noodles at Din Tai Fung downstairs. We do not cook at the apartment.
He wants me to learn more English at TAFE because it is very important for my long term survival in Australia. He wanted me to stay in Australia even after the end of his life. But I will go back to Vietnam instead. My parents are in Saigon and I would like to look after them if possible.
My husband says I can go home anytime as my happiness is more important. Does he love me? I think so but he is a funny man. He is not an ordinary man. He asked me whether he can come home with me to live in Vietnam. I say maybe. It depends. Wait and see.
Australians are different. We have to call before we visit friends and relatives. Back home in Vietnam we can go and visit our friends and relatives any time. We visit our parents every weekend but Australians do not see their parents very often. Very strange culture. Don’t we love and respect our parents and relatives?
I have to get used to living in Australia. I will try my best to learn and understand my Australian husband and Australian culture. After my English classes at TAFE, I will get a job and get to understand Australians more. I will try my best not to work in a Vietnamese restaurant. Otherwise I will not learn about the Australian culture. I like Australia. It is clean and healthy. We are free and corruption is minimal. There is justice and rule of law. People are friendly. Wish me and my husband luck. Bye.