In what i believe is an isolated incident we were harassed and attacked by 3-5 psychopaths. We are working with the police to ensure this doesnt happen again. I still love Vietnam, the people and feel safe walking alone in the same places this all happened. My joy for Vietnam has not been tarnished in the slightest and I dont think this reflects on Vietnam at all.
If you’re a business owner though and concerned send me a pm and I’ll send telling videos.
If anything like this happens then get recordings of it and go through all the right channels.
I’ll tell this through a series of texts i sent to friends(because its easier than typing one handed), and few bits of clarification.
Sent to a friend in Poland.
“It was a grouo if guys who came and attacked us at the outdoor bar. They pretended to work there but kept trying to provoke us. There was a bit of brawl and we left in the end.
I went back to check on the bar though, and they were waiting for me”
The whole time during this I attempted to deescalate the situation. I cant count the number of times I said ‘khong Su’ palms out. I treated more like a negotiation than an attack.
So when they arrived they abruptly told us to “Go Away” but wouldn’t let us get our things. I thought they were security at first. However, If we turned our backs we were pushed. Eventually we started to leave and then tempers flared and next thing we knew we were disarming them from chairs, bottles and pool sticks. We did not strike them but handled them more like students going through temper tantrums. Maybe that just caused them to feel the need to escalate things.
According to witnesses they attacked us because they said we stole their motorbike keys. As we left precariously they took off on their motorbikes.
Because I was sure they were there to destroy the bar I returned on bicycle to check on it when they spotted me. They chased me down on their motorbike running me into the entrance of a still open bar.
The final attack, they had pushed me off my bicycle and surrounded me with a machete, scimitar(sword) and pool stick. It itself lasted only about 30 seconds but in they time they dealt 6 deep lacerations that required 20+ stitches, destroyed my helmet and left me with countless cuts and bruises across my body. At one point I managed to run inside deeper into the bar where I was struck with a sword before they noticed something and left.
I’ll say this, when you’ve got three armed guys wailing on you, you realize to stand up fight back will only provoke them further. I was at their mercy, at least until I ran inside.
Sent to a friend in Hanoi, on March 4th
“I was resigned to die. I’d been ambushed by 3-4 Vietnamese men wielding a variety of weapons. The bartender had locked himself in the bathroom and refused to come out. I barely noticed the lacerations on my head because the wounds across my body were splashing blood across my legs and onto the floor
My friend called me and all i could say was “help, ambulance.” and the selfie. I must have also have told them where I was because they showed up soon after. I told them they shouldn’t come though, in case the group was looking to attack more people. But they came and found me squatting in a pool of blood. A dish rag pressed between my hand and chest as I tried to slow the bleeding of the one wound I could manage
It was funny, the bartender who had ran and locked himself away came out and asked me not to sit on the cushions on account of how hard blood is to get out. People prioritize strange things when stressed. I didnt mind, i think he may have called an ambulance in the end, not sure but eventually one came
By the time it arrived I’d lost enough blood that I began to go into shock. Im not sure if i did in the end or not but I grew pale and focused only onn y breathing. Inhale one two three four five six, exhale one two three four five six seven eight. It was difficult and I know i made many mistakes. I think my mind was shivering more than my body
The cleaned me up in the ambulance and two friends rode with me. Insisted in fact despite the paramedics opposition. With me I was happy to have th company and offered no opposition to them cutting off my blood soaked shirt rags and my headscarf id been using as a makeshift tourniquet. I also informed them of my blood type, you know, just in case
Shit happens, c’est la vie, its how we handle it”
So I am probably alive and well today because of the great doctors at Vinmec, and my friends who got me there. I’ve gained a great deal of respect for how they handled the situation, respected my wishes for no painkillers(except paracetamol), and excellent stitching. It is miraculous how well i’m healing after being under their care. 5 days of hospitalization, heavy antibiotics and the care of lovely nurses and doctors.
Was mich nicht umbringt
With this new life-line I can’t wait to get my palm read.
Whats to take away from this? Shit happens everywhere and in Vietnam they are ready to take care of it. I fully believe the perpetrators are gone and won’t return. The hospital Vinmec was more than ready to handle the situation and the levels of police involved were impressive. I am mostly unfazed by this aside from some still bruised ribs and stitches still in my hand. I’ll be back cycling and dancing soon enough.
I went back to the place it happened and had a beer over my bloodstains, and walked around the same places, I told the bartender it was ok, greeted friends and continue to know that despite what some idiots do, it doesn’t change my joy for this city.