Most places I travel these days, I hear Russian spoken and find it printed on menus. Because of history, I expected to run into many citizens of the former Empire of Evil (Reagan, not me).
Russia long supported North Vietnam and then moved into many facilities vacated by US Forces, following the end of the Vietnam War. Despite this long "friendship", I saw little evidence of Russian "occupation"/alliance, heard no syllable of the language, and noticed no Russian printed on any menu or sign. I think I recognized Slavic features on a few characters on Nha Trang beach, but could have been deceived.
The only concrete (well, steel) evidence was a Russian navy missile cruiser, which was tied to the same pier in Saigon as our cruise ship. I spotted sailors doing callestenics on the deck, being bored, and running back to ship after shore leave. (Later, I learned that the Russian and Chinese navies were conducting going exercises, in which this ship must have participated).
Everywhere we went, people wanted US dollars, not local currency, for any payment. one guide even complained, when I tipped her with dong. According to one guide, all children want to learn English. The preferred goal for study abroad in the US, followed in descending order by UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.