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Can Tho, 2019

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I hadn’t been to Chau Doc in nearly two decades, so was definitely looking forward to this trip. Though my wife doesn’t travel well, she came along because she wanted to visit Mistress’ Temple. All over Vietnam, there are Mistress’ Temples, with most dedicated to Guanyin, but the Chau Doc one was built for a found statue whose origin most worshippers are ignorant of, and have no interest in. Scholars have established that it is definitely Cambodian, for the entire Mekong Delta belonged to Cambodia until three centuries ago, a blink in history.

By the 17th century, Cambodia was a shadow of its Khmer Empire greatness. Squeezed by more powerful Thailand and Vietnam, King Chey Chettha II decided to side with the Nguyen Lords (who ruled half of Vietnam), and this fateful decision led to Vietnam eventually swallowing up a third of Cambodia.

Chey Chettha II’s antipathy towards Thailand can likely be traced to his being taken hostage by them from age 21 to 31. That would piss me off, too. Chettha II exacted his revenge, somewhat, at the legendary battle of Kampong Chhnang, where his troops slew many Thais. Enthroned, Chettha II married a Vietnamese princess.

Ah, all these obscure figures and places, but then again, what does Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Antietam or Chancellorsville mean to a non-American or, for that matter, recent American college graduate?

Shiloh? Isn’t that, like, ah, a Jewish holiday? At my college, we always celebrate Shiloh.

Sovereignty lost, Cambodians in the Mekong Delta became an ethnic minority, and as recently as the 1970’s, some were still trying to evict the Vietnamese, but it was way too late. The Mekong Delta hasn’t just become Vietnamese, but quintessentially so, just as California, taken from Mexico, is emblematically American, but nothing is final, of course, for maps are constantly being redrawn, at least psychically. One can board a plane for a familiar destination, only to land in a completely alien territory. I don’t know what I will see the next time I visit St. Paul, Bolzano or Brussels, for example.

The Mekong Delta has its own singing styles, chamber music, blues, folk theater and perhaps Vietnam’s best modernist writer, Ho Bieu Chanh, an author of 64 novels and 12 collections of stories. Marguerite Duras met her Chinese-Vietnamese lover on a ferry in the Mekong Delta. Once colonized, any land breeds an entirely new culture and mythology that erase all that came before them.

Beginning in Tibet, the Mekong flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, before reaching Vietnam. In the 90’s, China started building dams on this great liquid dragon, and there are now seven, with an eighth planned for Cambodia. Controlling the river’s flow, China has all these yellow countries by the balls.

Porfirio Díaz lamented, “Poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the United States,” and the same can be said of Vietnam apropos China. Their easily crossed border has witnessed many invasions, and even the sea off Vietnam’s coast is now claimed by China, so that it can’t even extract its own natural gas. Mexico has reasons for hope, for its beefy, bullying neighbor is already decomposing after merely 241 years, but China is as eternal as any nation.

On the way to Chau Doc, we stopped in Long Xuyen for lunch, and the presence of so many itinerant lottery ticket sellers spoke of the relative poverty of the area. The city of 400,000, though, looked much improved from 2001. The roundabout downtown was anchored by an ornamental steel tower that’s crowned by four orange stars, four red flames, four street lanterns and four pseudo clocks, and if that description makes little sense, the sight itself was nearly as baffling, but at least it wasn’t a brutal socialist statue slapped together with chunky concrete blocks.

Visiting Chau Doc in 2000, my wife and I stayed with a friend, Mrs. Nga, who owned a bakery, cranking out baguettes. The front room had a picture of Mt. Rainer, wrapped in yellowing and slashed plastic. Cobwebs decorated the upper reaches of each wall. Graciously, Mrs. Nga gave us her own bed, with its thin mattress and homey mosquito netting, so everything was fine, except there was not a bathroom in the entire house. Rural Vietnamese used to refer to relieving oneself as “going to the field” [“đi đồng”], so many of them, like Mrs. Nga, never considered a built-in toilet a necessity.

During these pre-cellphone days, the outside world only reached remote Chau Doc via video cassettes, so at night, there were these half-lit oases of men watching, enraptured, Hollywood movies, including Vietnam War travesties.

The stretch from Long Xuyen to Chau Doc used to be particularly beautiful, with verdant fields to one’s left, and a river to one’s right, with the mostly miserable shacks that lined it not detracting but adding to the picturesqueness. If one doesn’t have to endure it, poverty can be charming or even sexy.

In 2019, these shacks are almost entirely replaced by solid, concrete houses, and the buildup mars both sides of the road. The Vietnamese first called their southernmost third Deer Field [Đồng Nai], but there are certainly no deer left, much less tigers, though an image of the fearful beast still guards many temples. Men come, mess up the land, then lie beneath, and after many a summer, croaks the poisoned swan.

We reached Chau Doc without an argument, a rare achievement, for my wife doesn’t travel well. An extremely meticulous person, she must micro manage every detail of each second, so the numerous surprises of being on the road often frustrate if not infuriate her. At home, she’s always cleaning and putting things in order. For two decades, my wife has clipped my toe nails, for she simply doesn’t trust me to do it right. I’m a frightful pig in her eyes. I also suspect that she must control what she can since our lives have been so uncertain, thanks to my writing pursuit.

ORDER IT NOW

Many American men have the opposite problem, I know. When I visited a white friend in North Carolina a while back, I found him always washing the dishes, while his girlfriend lazed on an armchair. Ringed by assorted garbage, including used condoms, their messy bed would be shunned by a hobo, and no, my friend was not “white trash,” but a PhD-educated transplant from Connecticut. His girlfriend, too, was an academic. She never cleaned on principle.

The center of Chau Doc is but a mile from the Cambodian border. In 1978, the Khmer Rouge crossed into nearby Ba Chuc and massacred 3,157 Vietnamese civilians, so there’s a macabre memorial there, complete with skulls in glass cabinets and photos of impaled women. Like each man, a nation only remembers the wrongs it has suffered, not those it inflicted.

The main road into Chau Doc is a wide boulevard flanked by hideous modernist sculptures. The marriage of glib abstraction and bureaucratic decision making has resulted in millions of steel and stone monstrosities blighting vistas worldwide. I cringed. The Khmer Rouge would not have put up with this.

To accommodate increasing throngs of visitors, Chau Doc’s Mistress Temple had been greatly enlarged, I soon discovered, with even an entrance fee for each four-wheeled vehicle. Supplicants arrive with tons of food each day, and since a stone sculpture can’t eat any of it, these bags of rice, roast pigs and all sorts of fruits are resold, with the proceeds supposedly going to Buddhist charities.

A while back, I wrote about the general elegance of Da Lat, as manifested in its architecture and dress. Chau Doc was the exact opposite, for everything was particularly tacky, garish or clownish, even by Vietnamese standards. The people, too, appeared unusually coarse, but perhaps these are exactly the types that would flock to worship an alien statue, crudely painted.

Inside a small shrine the size of a dog house, there was just a stone chunk that didn’t resemble anything, yet it attracted a succession of austere worshippers, each with incense sticks held high over his forehead. They had no idea what they were praying to. It didn’t matter.

Roaming through Mistress’ Temple, I photographed many outlandish scenes, making for an intriguing set, I thought, one of my recent best, then I noticed a No Photography sign. Too late! Plus, the security guards there didn’t seem to mind. I had done my work, with even the Mistress herself captured.

On the way back, we stopped in Can Tho, the chief city in the Mekong Delta. In 1999 or so, I saw a few queers sashay near the Ho Chi Minh statue by the Mekong River. Sitting near me, a man exclaimed, “Hi-Fi!”

“Hi-Fi?!”

“Yes, they’re gay.”

Hi-Fi, you see, sounds like hai phái, meaning two genders. Stereo sexuality. I learnt a new slang.

Can Tho features prominently in my novel, Love Like Hate. I wax, “Before 1975, the richest families owned vast tracts of land and lived in colonial-era villas built in a style that was a hybrid of East and West. Tucked in tropical gardens leafy with coconut, mango, plum, durian, jackfruit, guava, papaya, custard apple, banana, betel nut and lemon trees, each of these solid brick houses boasted a spacious porch with square columns. The high ceiling of the front room was often painted in pastel colors with bucolic scenes evoking somewhere in Europe. It was the rococo, Mekong style. On the floor were cool floral tiles, ideal for the hot weather. The furniture was made from teak, ebony or rosewood.”

Can Tho in 2019 is nothing like this, needless to say. Now, there’s a 30-story, five star hotel where most of the waiters and bartenders have college degrees, with at least a decade of English lessons behind them. A suspension bridge, opened in 2010, eliminated the once-iconic ferry crossing, with its festive, messy array of eateries and itinerant food vendors at each end. Gone too are the tiny shrines to an underwater dragon [thủy long].

Another icon, the thatch hut, is becoming scarce. In this region’s constant scorching heat, a cool thatch hut is quite suitable, actually, plus it is super cheap, but among the drawbacks are its tendency to leak during storms, vulnerabilities to termites, break ins and flames, size limitations and short lifespan. In place of thatch huts and the equally quaint wooden houses, one now finds concrete clad homes of up to six stories that flaunt a mishmash of Western architectural features. Even when grand and comfortable, most of these are rather hideous looking, for they manifest a rootless, borrowed aesthetics not even half-digested.

Duras, “There are no seasons in that part of the world, we have just the one season, hot, monotonous, we’re in the long hot girdle of the earth, with no spring, no renewal,” or one can say that each morning is renewal and spring, with lush plants and birds chirping, though by noon, it’s oven hot, a daily ordeal. Without autumns and winters, the Mekong Delta is deprived of ready metaphors for decline and death. Never gloomy, it is a world where even the most abject desperation is brightly displayed in a beautiful, cheerful sunshine.

My late father’s first law office was in Can Tho, and as a young, successful attorney, he had a large stone plaque made to announce his business. “Everything went downhill after that,” he would tell me, laughing. “It was too much like a grave marker!” What a silly old coot, I would think, with his superstitions!

I’ve sought out a master musician in My Tho, attended a wedding in Cai Be, scrutinized nameless graves near Sa Dec and consulted a shaman in Vinh Chau, so I have some history with the Mekong Delta, and I’ve seen it changed. With words and photos, I’ve striven to preserve some of its current peculiarities, before they’re all washed away, just like a woman’s remains in my novel, “Reduced to a grayish white powder, the dead woman’s soul merged into the muck and flow of the Mekong River, a giant anaconda muscling its way toward the Pacific Ocean, overstuffed with half-digested cats, human beings, rats, toothless combs, toothpicks and rusted pull rings from exploded hand grenades.”

Back in Saigon, I started to process my photos, starting with those of Long Xuyen, with Chau Doc, the most crucial to this article, saved for last. The photoshopping would take several days.

ORDER IT NOW

That morning started normally. I got up before dawn to read the news and answer emails, then went out for quick breakfast, with the walk itself a head clearing exercise. Returning by 8:30, I was eager to, finally, fine tune my Chau Doc photos, but the entire folder, to my surprise, had disappeared from my desktop. I scoured my hard drive, but it was nowhere to be found.

Even minor losses sting because they point to our impotence, futility and irrelevance. I kept fidgeting with my computer while thinking, hard, about what could have happened, before finally calling my wife, who said that, yes, she did clean my laptop that morning. Everything must always be spotless, you see, and that’s how all of my Chau Doc was accidentally shoved into the Recycle Bin, then permanently deleted.

Of course, the most logical Vietnamese explanation is that I got exactly what I deserved for daring to point my Fujifilm X100F at the Mistress of Chau Doc, and I’m lucky my blasphemous camera didn’t explode in my unbelieving face!

With its canals, creeks, swamps and, of course, nine branches of the eponymous river, the Mekong Delta is dominated by waterways, and on these, there often float duckweeds. Adrift, tossed about by currents, unable to determine their destination and essentially homeless, these duckweeds symbolize men in many Vietnamese poems, songs and sayings.

Before being flushed into the sea, we all bobble down this mother of water.

Linh Dinh’s latest book is Postcards from the End of America. He maintains a regularly updated photo blog.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, History • Tags: Cambodia, China, Vietnam 
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  1. swamped says:

    “Can Tho features prominently in my novel, Love Like Hate. I wax, ‘Before 1975, the richest families owned vast tracts of land and lived in colonial-era villas built in a style that was a hybrid of East and West’”…perhaps grimly symbolic, since before 1975, when the last U.S. troops were frantically evacuated by helicopter from the roof of the American embassy, at last ending the U.S.’s worst foreign policy disaster prior to Iraq, the whole region was an unholy hybrid of East & West.Indeed, the Mekong Delta was site of the Tet Offensive a mere fifty-one years ago, which turned the tide of that unwinnable war & haunts American foreign policy still; despite grotesque revisionist attempts to overcome the shame of that catastrophic war. Even today, people who weren’t even around at the time like to chasten the President for not having joined up then and try to make a hero of the late Sen. McCain for his questionable exploits. If only they knew the awful horror of such unnecessary aggression, maybe they could avoid falling prey to new wars of choice that always end so badly. Glad Can Tho in 2019 is nothing like that.

  2. “… my wife doesn’t travel well. An extremely meticulous person, she must micro manage every detail of each second, so the numerous surprises of being on the road often frustrate if not infuriate her. At home, she’s always cleaning and putting things in order. For two decades, my wife has clipped my toe nails, for she simply doesn’t trust me to do it right. I’m a frightful pig in her eyes.”

    Did you marry a German?

    “Like each man, a nation only remembers the wrongs it has suffered, not those it inflicted.”

    Four generations on, the Germans I know show a lot of remorse for the World Wars; not so much for the EU.

    “the most logical Vietnamese explanation is that I got exactly what I deserved for daring to point my Fujifilm X100F at the Mistress of Chau Doc, and I’m lucky my blasphemous camera didn’t explode in my unbelieving face!”

    Yes, Karma is a bitch!

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    The primary focus of Linh Dinh’s columns is now Vietnam. But they still explain much about life anywhere, even (especially?) here in Exceptionalia.

    “Inside a small shrine the size of a dog house, there was just a stone chunk that didn’t resemble anything, yet it attracted a succession of austere worshippers, each with incense sticks held high over his forehead. They had no idea what they were praying to. It didn’t matter.”

    So good, so true.

  4. PhotoRec/TestDisk can recover deleted files… unless you want to avoid angering the mistress further.

  5. Great piece ! I’d love to see Vietnam but these articles by Linh are probably as close as I’ll ever get . It sounds like a society in its ascendency rather than the decline we always here about in the West, particularly the United States . It’s hard to remain hopeful when there’s seems to be no coherent national vision but an rather an endless list of disparate greviences who’s only commonality is its intended target. The further fracturing of already tenuous societal bonds will be cataclysmic and with so many national interest and identities competing and new enclaves always under construction it’s hard to see how Humpty goes back together again.

  6. Riverrat says:

    I’m glad you went home to Vietnam. The postcard series of writings was very good, but I prefer to read about something other than the depressing decline of the USA. Thanks for posting these descriptions of Vietnamese life and culture. I’ve been reading your posts for what seems like many years, keep up the good work!

  7. fish says:

    When I visited a white friend in North Carolina a while back, I found him always washing the dishes, while his girlfriend lazed on an armchair. Ringed by assorted garbage, including used condoms, their messy bed would be shunned by a hobo, and no, my friend was not “white trash,” but a PhD-educated transplant from Connecticut. His girlfriend, too, was an academic. She never cleaned on principle.

    Hit the bricks bitch……..!

    • Replies: @Low Voltage
  8. gruff says:

    Good stuff, Ding-a-Ling.

  9. supertjx says:

    Really enjoyed this.
    Your wife is a riot.
    Please keep them coming.
    Your writing always lights up my day.

    On a side note, is there any place I can purchase non-DRM digital versions of your short stories and novels? Or is buying from Amazon the only way to support your writing?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  10. That line from one of the Fake House stories (I gotta paraphrase because I’m at a pizza place)—“some men sleep with virgins, but I wake up next to a bag lady”—is my favorite phrase of yours that I’ve read, but these sentences from today take a very close second:

    Ringed by assorted garbage, including used condoms, their messy bed would be shunned by a hobo … His girlfriend, too, was an academic. She never cleaned on principle.

    I’ve spent a lot of time with both types of broad. You’ve characterized the experiences well.

  11. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @supertjx

    Hi supertjx,

    I just checked my page at Seven Stories, and they only have paperbacks for sale, so it looks like Amazon is the only option for digital versions of my fiction books. Oh, well.

    Linh

    • Replies: @supertjx
  12. Willy says:

    My wife is Chinese. Treats me exactly as yours treats you. Says I am a handless, good-for-nothing slob. And she clips my toenails. Maybe it is a cultural thing.

    • Replies: @mp
  13. Charlie says:

    Thanks again Linh. So many spokes.

  14. Many American men have the opposite problem, I know. When I visited a white friend in North Carolina a while back, I found him always washing the dishes, while his girlfriend lazed on an armchair. Ringed by assorted garbage, including used condoms, their messy bed would be shunned by a hobo, and no, my friend was not “white trash,” but a PhD-educated transplant from Connecticut. His girlfriend, too, was an academic. She never cleaned on principle.

    You could have found a similar menage in Cambridge, UK, while you were there, I did. My father asked me to take a book that he had borrowed, back to an academic colleague one Sunday and I walked in on just such a house, just such a bedroom. I have never seen or smelled a menage like it, before or since.

  15. Giuseppe says:

    Porfirio Díaz lamented, “Poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the United States…” Mexico has reasons for hope, for its beefy, bullying neighbor is already decomposing after merely 241 years…

    Would Mexico remain undamaged by a collapse north of the border?

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  16. I love the Mekong too. That is a great dragon of a river. Enjoyable read as always Linh.

  17. I’m probably going to be visiting Da Nang this year. I’ve watched a lot of those BestEverFoodReview episodes on Youtube, and the food in Vietnam looks absolutely fantastic. Looks very clean as well

  18. anon[324] • Disclaimer says:

    I have an acquaintance who is from Can Tho. He was a law student in South Vietnam during the war and after graduating joined the Saigon Police and became a captain doing intelligence work in the Mekong delta.
    In 1975 he and two of his lieutenants were in his Saigon office, and it was time to get on a US helicopter and leave the country.The Saigon police headquarters was adjacent to the US embassy, and from his office he could step out of the window onto the embassy grounds. But his wife and young son were still in Can Tho. He had not been able to reach them and bring them out. So the two lieutenants went through the window and he stayed behind.
    When the North Vietnamese came into Saigon he was arrested and spent the next 12 years in a communist re-education camp. He told me there were several thousand prisoners in his camp. He was one of the last two prisoners released.
    Living again in Saigon he was arrested and brought in for questioning every single day. Eventually he got a visa from the US consulate and came here.
    I asked him once why we lost the war. He said, “You lost the war when you sent in troops. You lost the hearts and minds.”
    He is a successful business man today, and has been back to Vietnam as a tourist to visit relatives.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  19. supertjx says:
    @Linh Dinh

    I just finished Love like Hate.
    Really enjoyed it.
    It’s the best novel I have read in years.
    That ending…
    You really deserve a wider audience.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  20. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @supertjx

    Many thanks, supertjx. Jousting with Jewish power, it’s a miracle I haven’t been disappeared completely, though perched in end-of-the-world Ea Kly, I can’t be shoved much further.

    It’s a blessing in disguise, actually, for the folks here are mostly true, the conversations free of bullshit and the coffee fantastic, and at 43 cents a cup, certainly within my budget. I’m working on “Walt Whitman, Mass Media and Jewish Power.” Up soon!

  21. @Giuseppe

    GUISEPPE

    Without remissions from the US and drug sales, Mexico would suffer economically.

  22. Biff says:

    East Asians tend to be conservative and shy – the exception seems to be wearing bright colors(that don’t always match).

  23. Franz says:

    Hi-Fi, you see, sounds like hai phái, meaning two genders. Stereo sexuality. I learnt a new slang.

    It was “switch-hitter” in the States, way-back-when.

    And then there’s this:

    Now, there’s a 30-story, five star hotel where most of the waiters and bartenders have college degrees, with at least a decade of English lessons behind them.

    Right, it’s like that all over. Cabbies where I live all drive for Uber and have at least one advanced degree. Asked why drive for a living, they tell me it’s the only way they’ll pay off the debt the degree left them in. Hey, they make more than some working stiffs.

    I got your copy of “Postcards” which I love. Great idea! Why wait till the collapse to write “the decline and fall” when it’s so obvious the machinery of destruction set in 1913 and 1947 are now triggering a rapid cavitation? If you wait till “after” it’s possible nobody will remember the USA at all.

    But as a companion volume, a book on Vietnam is perfect. Like a Plutarch of the 21st century, the comparisons will be read by lovers of droll history for centuries to come.

  24. mp says:
    @Willy

    Waifu is Chinese. Doesn’t do my nails, but blow drys my hair so I won’t catch a cold at night. Lays out my clothes in the morning, applies concoctions to my face to keep it moist. I won’t tell you about the other stuff. I understand that once upon a time Western women were feminine, minded their personal appearance, and cared about taking care of their man.

    • Agree: bluedog
  25. The US and NATO would send in troops to crush these Vietnamese terrorist dissidents, as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc . Not necessary. CIA Facebook, Amazon Intelligence in the Vietnamese data center with “foreign” government agents acting like “freedom fighters” or some other BS because “Israel is behind it all!”. Where do people get the idea they are reading the thoughts and feeling of “religious pacifists” in these intelligence gathering operations? Sounds like violence peddling 24/7.

  26. Say, LD, I hear your wife doesn’t travel well. 😉

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  27. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @jacques sheete

    She was clearly in cahoot with the Mistress of Chau Doc. Goddesses stick together.

  28. anarchyst says:
    @anon

    The Vietnam war was an INVASION by the North Vietnamese communists.
    South Vietnamese and American forces fought this conflict with one hand tied behind their backs, because they were not permitted to go into the areas where the enemy planning and logistics was taking place.
    Despite these restrictions, South Vietnamese and American troops prevailed in every battle in Vietnam, but here in the USA, it was a totally different story. The American “(communist) mainstream media”, communists and their “fellow travelers” blamed the American military for the prosecution of the war.
    Communist Walter Cronkite’s declaration that “the American military lost the war” despite the successes in the failed North Vietnamese Tet offensive proved that the American “mainstream media” could not be trusted. Even North Vietnamese General Giap credited the U S media for giving them “new resolve” (and extending the war for years). It is fact that the North Vietnamese were “ready to deal” in 1968 until communist sympathizer Walter Cronkite declared that “the war was lost”.
    Us Vietnam veterans were considered “baby killers”, “loose cannons”, “mentally defective”, and were vilified and blamed for the war itself. Job opportunities that were supposed to be earmarked for returning Vietnam veterans never materialized.
    It is curious to note that as soon as the draft was abolished, he “anti-war” movement dissipated. These anti-war protesters (along with their chickenhawk political opportunists) were only concerned about one thing–“saving their own skins”–nothing more. There was no concern for the tens of thousands of “boat people” risking life and limb to escape that communist “paradise”.
    Most of today’s “documentaries” on the Vietnam war praise the communist invaders while denigrating American and South Vietnamese troops. The TRUTH of the communist “re-education” camps and system was way different than the communist claims. Despite claims by the communists that “re-education” would last only about six months or so, South Vietnamese patriots were imprisoned by the communists for as long as 20 YEARS.
    For another unknown aspect of the Vietnam war obtain and read “Our War Was Different” by Al Hemingway. This treatise was about the U S Marine Corps “Combined Action Program” which inserted military personnel into villages and hamlets on a squad level. Approximately 10 to 13 Marines lived in the villages and hamlets, provided security along with Vietnamese “Popular Forces” and was one of the more successful programs.
    Another overlooked atrocity (because it was committed by the communists) was the destruction of the village of Duc Duc in 1971. Approximately 500 residents were mercilessly slaughtered by the communists, and the village was destroyed. There was no mention of this by the American mainstream media, as it would have destroyed their premise about communism. Everyone knows about My Lai, but no one knows about Duc Duc…

  29. Agent76 says:

    Oct 22, 2018 HO CHI MINH CITY (SAIGON) CRAZY NIGHTLIFE 🇻🇳

    I soak in the nightlife of Vietnam’s energetic Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), exploring its food, markets, famous boulevards and walking bar street, Bui Vien.

  30. “Like each man, a nation only remembers the wrongs it has suffered, not those it inflicted.” – That quote is one for the ages and a real keeper.

    • Agree: Agent76, Erebus
  31. @anarchyst

    Regardless what side you take on this issue, there are many who are “Still In Saigon”.

  32. @mp

    Damn, I seem to have goofed up.
    Wifey is Iranian (straight from Tehran) has not thought me a word of Farsi, though we are married for 12 years as she thinks my accent is atrocious.
    In the kitchen she concocts some awesome dishes and can be really atomic in bed.
    Anyway, I think rich Jew bankers a are a problem and we should not shy away from it.

  33. @mp

    Many songs about the condition of women of the world have been written . Me thinks Mick Jagger said it best.

  34. bluedog says:
    @anarchyst

    We lost get over it for another one is coming along.!!!

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  35. @bluedog

    BLUEDOG

    How many more wars can the US “afford” to lose. Syria, which was caused in part by an ill-advised invasion of Iraq 16 years, is just finally winding down now.

    Each war has cost the US trillions and a decade of trauma, disillusionment, recession, grief. The seventies and the 2000’s were lost decades.

    • Agree: Libertine75
  36. Biff says:
    @anarchyst

    Every generation sees a reduction of dolts such as yourself beating that dead horse. One day all of you will be gone and that horse can finally Rest In Peace.

    • Troll: anarchyst
  37. MOVING TO ASIA FOR GIRLS

    I moved overseas because America is full of sudden, motiveless unexpected lethal violence mostly at the hands of Mexicans and blacks, with a small number of meth-wired rednecks as well.

    If you are going to Asia for girls, you are wasting your time. You can go to Las Vegas and receive oral copulation legally in casino or barroom toilets or your car or whatever.

    The reason to move to Asia is simply to avoid the stupidity and violence of the underclass. I don’t know what world other Americans here live in. They seem to think they live in the best country in the world when every single one of them would be jumped and savagely attacked by feral packs of Mestizos or blacks in any US city. American rural degeneracy is not much better. Many rednecks are no better than the family in Hills Have Eyes or Texas Chainsaw Massacre and unlike the city, where any attack will bring an immediate police response, if you are in the wilds of any state you have to be armed because police will never get there in time to save you.

    Anywhere in East Asia and most places in Southeast Asia you won’t be attacked for no reason. At least not in broad public daylight.

    In Phoenix, or other Hispanic cities you’ll be assaulted by Mextizos who have no reason and don’t even know your name. You will just be in the wrong place at the wrong time and Cholos will assault you for no reason.

    Inner-city blacks are even worse. They do not care about jail, where they will have sex with other blacks of the same gender, so they will attack or even kill you for no reason.

    In Asia, none of the worst of the US underclasses can attack you because they never travel. They are either penniless or in prison or on parole and lack the intelligence to obtain a passport.

    So that is the reason to live in Asia.

    I’m not aware of these wonderful safe suburbs other posters claim comprise America. I personally think that Jews and Hindu IT programmers are the least of the average person’s worries on US streets. Neither will kill you for no reason. However, Mestizo and black packs of primitive barbarians do so everyday.

    • Replies: @bourlinguer
    , @Low Voltage
  38. The poor Cambodians. My Thai wife’s father hailed from there. He died when she was one so I never met him. I had visited Cambodia in the early 90’s so when I first saw her I immediately detected the Khmer link – Cambodians are distinctive looking: smaller, darker, and sometimes prettier. But oh boy it was a mistake to mention it. “I’m Thai!” she proclaimed, almost terminating the interview right there. Cambodians, formerly the kingpins of the region, just don’t get no respect.

  39. @jeff stryker

    I’ve lived in different parts of the US, Europe and also southeast Asia. From my experience, best place to hang your hat in the US (unless you’re rich) is a small town about 10-20 miles from a major university. Cost is higher than redneck small towns but not that much and your neighbors are educated, well-to-do, and best of all, often have kids and where there are kids and smart people there is planning, responsibility, and care for the future. That means safe streets and pleasant exchanges instead of anonymity, distrust, and violence.

  40. Sunshine says:
    @mp

    Unfortunately most American women are worthless. I say this as one, from what I see. I am a traditional wife, stay at home, we have four kids. I cook (from scratch), clean, mind the kids, do the gardening, etc. I don’t cut my husband’s toenails, only because we disagree on the proper length for nails in general (severely short is the only way) and no matter how I try I always cut them too short! I will take the ped egg to his feet though, and help him shave his head, and whatever else he asks of me.

    The thing is, he didn’t want a servant, he tells me that all the time. He said if he had, he’d have gotten a Filipina. They apparently iron underwear. He wanted a partner, just in a traditional way. He does respect my opinion and consults me on things. It helps that I am not a vapid idiot, not frivolous and not swayed by the propaganda. He respects me and I him, but it had to be earned. That only happens when people are from the same culture and race and background, in my opinion. We are both Southerners with a fierce pride in our ancestors, we share culture, language, and outlook. I cannot imagine marrying and having a life with a Yankee, let alone someone from a foreign country (or a non white but I am “racist” like that). I truly believe “let the corn be of one sheaf, and the grapes of one vine”.

    But this isn’t to denigrate anyone that chooses differently. I honestly can’t blame them. Most American women are vile creatures. I don’t associate with them. One I knew, was like me, a stay at home mom but all she did was bad mouth her husband! How disgusting and disrespectful. I didn’t want to associate with her after that.

    However, many women do want the traditional life, I just don’t think they have any idea of how to achieve it. The media propaganda tells them they have to be whores and PhDs and this and that. Men don’t want that! Well they do want a “lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets” but they want to be laid, and fed, and not nagged.

    The women that have figured this out, are still really susceptible to propaganda and the opinions of other women, and very few seem to be mentally strong enough to flout societal expectations and the desire to “fit in”. I don’t care and have no desire to be like any of them.

    You would not believe the loathing I get from other women, simply because I have four beautiful children and a husband that openly and obviously loves me and enjoys my company. It is written all over their faces. How does that man love that strangely dressed, unfashionably modest, matronly (working on thinning back down but I am not obese or really very overweight) woman when she isn’t what the media tells us men want? If they weren’t such nasty and hateful bullies to me, I’d consider telling them. But I always smile really widely at them. Their hate can’t touch me. My husband is truly my best friend and he would say the same of me. We love AND like each other. How could we not? We are each other, we don’t have to even speak now, we can read each other’s minds. What could anyone offer me that is more meaningful than that?

    Sorry for the novel but I wanted to try and explain it from a (very strange) woman’s perspective. Hopefully it’s not too dumb, out of place or annoying.

    • Replies: @Libertine75
  41. @jeff stryker

    Jeff,

    I imagine you must have had some horrible experience with Blacks in the Detroit area. I had friends who were attacked, and I myself had been assaulted. However, such situations are relatively easy to avoid by choice of job or location. America is a vast country, and it is easy to live a life where you will rarely encounter ghetto blacks. As far as Mestizos, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have never heard of a Mexicans jumping a white person for gratuitous violence.

    My own motives for leaving America are the Police State, lack of sincerity, and loneliness. The vast majority of American white people are so shallow that they’re almost two dimensional.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  42. @fish

    Don’t you understand that this is the great reward for living in America? We get the world’s most “confident” women with the most impressive job titles. In other countries, we’d have to settle for a high school graduate who works as a cashier and takes care of her looks. American women get college degrees and work as “social workers” or “marketing specialists.” They might not lift a finger around the house, but they have Domino’s Pizza on speed dial. They might be fat and ugly, but they have a large paycheck. They might be in debt, but they drive an expensive car. Etcetera.

    But hey, if we ever get frustrated with our lives, we can always turn on the TV and watch our heroes in uniform destroy some hapless country where the womenfolk aren’t as confident as ours.

    • Replies: @jeff stryker
  43. @Low Voltage

    LOW VOLTAGE

    My degree, perhaps foolishly, was in Graphic Arts. You are not going to make a living in the all-white rural areas of the US with a degree in GA or IT. Depending on your skill-set, you have no choice but to live in US cities. Spend some time in LA or Phoenix; you’ll discover the dangers of Mestizo crime.

    As for the police state, that really took place after I left in 1999.

    Lack of sincerity is a byproduct of PC. Cognitive dissonance. All adults are aware that gays and heterosexual male porn stars are a high-risk for AIDS because of anal sex. For example.

    Loneliness? This I cannot respond to. In the US as a young man, I had to share condos with two other young post-bachelor males to make the rent.

    In my own case, my standard of living soared when I moved to Dubai. Asia, of course, is affordable.

    When people my age turn 65 in twenty years, you are going to see thousands of Gen X moving to Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia. They won’t have a choice. There will be no way for them to live on $1000 a month in the US in 2040. No possible way at all. Forget about it. Southeast Asia will receive MILLIONS of aging white males.

    White women are going to be in a worse situation. So many never married, spent their lives as promiscuous bisexuals and have no house or kids to look after them. What happens to the FRIENDS type like Phoebe at 60 when her good looks and quirky appeal are gone.

    r

  44. @Low Voltage

    LOW

    I’m married to a graduate from college-my wife is a Chinese-Thai businesswoman who owns a small store.

    When a Westerner moves to Southeast Asia under 40, as I did, you have enough youth and looks to attract middle-class local women. I did.

    One problem with older men who move to Asia after having been divorce-raped, worked all of their life in the US and run down from life in America is that they don’t have the looks or energy or youth to really capitalize on potentialities in business or enterprise.

    They’re too burned out. I arrived in Asia in my thirties and left the US at age 25 in 1999. Although I spent a decade in Dubai with forays to India, I had both experience and youth to make the most out of Southeast Asia.

    Once you arrive in Asia after age 50, you don’t have much energy and cannot go out and hustle like young guys can. You just want to go to a bar and order a beer. Most older men want to marry a young girl and most of these women are poor. They are not making $1200 a month like my wife.

    So being over 40 in Asia and under 40 in Asia is a different experience.

    In my case, although I am American, all of the things adults do-have a career, buy a house, get married-I’ve done overseas.

  45. @Sunshine

    Great comment and refreshing to hear . If there were a couple million more like you we’d be a far richer society, in my opinion.

    • Replies: @bluedog
  46. bluedog says:
    @Libertine75

    Could’nt agree more, as I use to tell my wife she was one in a million.!!

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