Oi Gioi Oi
I stumbled upon an awesome music video on YouTube today. An English guy rapping about Hanoi on a track called “Oi Gioi Oi” by Hanoi Sessions featuring EP.
Apart from being an awesome track it brought back memories of Hanoi as “Oi Gioi Oi” is a phrase I know well.
I was in Hanoi a few years ago and visited the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation where we had a session with some of the kids teaching each other useful phrases. We’d teach the kids some English and they’d teach us some Vietnamese. The little boy I was paired with taught me a few useful phrases like how to say “How much is it?”, etc.
I confess I even got him to teach me how to say “beautiful girl” – I like to learn that in every country I visit – well boys will be boys. The funny thing about that was that I was using “em dep lam” which I think actually means “I’m beautiful” which might explain why it always got a laugh!
Anyway, the phrase that stayed with me though was “Oi Gioi Oi” which is like saying “OMG” or “Oh, my gosh” that kind of thing.
I was on my first really long around the world trip (15 countries in 9 months) at the time and “Oi Gioi Oi” became a bit of a catch phrase for me. I might use it when it was really hot instead of “f&!$, it’s hot” or if I saw something amazing it replaced “Wow!”. In Vietnam the phrase proved to be a great ice breaker because people were surprised when you said it… especially when haggling over prices in the markets.
That visit to Hanoi was many years ago, but I still find I use the phrase from time to time. In fact only today I posted a mix I liked on Facebook and wanted to use “Oi Gioi Oi” as the comment, but as I wasn’t sure how to spell it I Google’d it… and that’s when I found this awesome track.
Check out the video – it’s pretty cool… otherwise I recommend using “Oi Gioi Oi” if you’re visiting Vietnam any time soon – you’re sure to get a smile!