The Vietnamese people in the North of the country were extremely hospitable. It’s custom thoughout the country to invite visitors for a shot of corn liqour.
This custom kept surprising me:
The shot glass has been offered to me by a police man at a restaurant;
a poor farmer invited me and my family (total strangers) into his home and offered us a shot of the corn drink after we had drank a cup of burning hot water without tea;
we drank shots with our host at the homestay;
and these young men at a marked invited me and my boy friend to drink with them even though it was before noon.
The drink had to be emptied in one gulp. Thereafter, the participants would shake hands with one another.
The gesture seemed to the the vietnamese way of making friends and showing hospitality.
It was a fruitfull way of communicating without a shared spoken language.