Why foreigners sometimes get a poor reception in Vietnamese clothing shops



Have you ever been told you’re “too big” or “too fat” when you enter a Vietnamese clothing shop? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been insulted, but today I discovered one of the reasons why shop assistants don’t want my western-sized body in their shop. Many Vietnamese shop keepers are superstitious, and they feel that their luck on any given day can be decided by their first customer. If their first customer does not buy anything, sales for the rest of the day will be low. So when I walk into a shop selling tiny clothes, the shop assistant assumes that I won’t fit into anything and if I’m the first customer of the day, I will bring them bad luck. The shop assistant doesn’t want me to even cross the threshold, so she tells me I’m too fat, hoping I will go away.  Knowing this takes some of the sting out of being insulted…


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