Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Movin' on up: from the suburbs to the third world

So we're headed from a place that looks like the above to a developing country. The term "third world" is a bit anachronistic, but makes for a nice headline and follows the thoughts of this post: "How to Write Great Headlines."

Anyhow, the fact that my arse is headed to VN is not wholly interesting. After all, if rock stars (see Gates, Bill), baby shoppers and a Connecticut cowboy who was impolite to my Senator-elect have stomped around the joint, it’s not exactly a novel place to be.

(Bill Gates vs. Betel Nut, via Elmoooh’s)

Still, as a temporary visitor who wants to make it there, and not just to bum around and wear a Dạy-cho-Bia t-shirt as a fashion statement without irony, the move is a tad novel. This LA Weekly article,"Santa Monica or Saigon?", highlighted to me by Terry of, describes another person’s experience with it all.

Being a VK, one invariably deals with the prickly issue of going to a place that you and your parents escaped merely a generation ago. More than that, however, is the issue of moving from what once was your goal in life.

I was not a black kid, growing up in Bed-Sty as the characters in "Everybody Hates Chris," but, as Chris Rock would say, “I understand.” That show is funny and poignant because that’s almost my childhood. Never in my wildest dream as a kid did I imagine living in the ‘burbs with one’s very own lawn to mow. Maybe that’s why I don’t complain about lawn maintenance as much as VA does.

How cool is it to not share a wall with your neighbor, to have rooms you do not use, to always have a parking space when you come home, and to have that proverbial (free range) chicken in your pot? Being middle-class was the brass ring. And now I’m leaving the country paved with gold for the developing world. How crazy is that? Crazy like a fox, I hope.


Nelly Furtado said...

You're like a bird son.

Do you know any Vietnamese trash talk? You'll need it after you take someone strong to the hoop for an easy basket.

chanchow said...

Maybe Brad and Angie will have their next kid in Vietnam. Not that the place needs any more press.

Good luck with the move. I'm also Viet Kieu. I visited back in 2000 and plan to go again soon (hopefully during Tet).