Surprise. I moved to Vietnam.
Though “moved” might be a bit contentious an operative word. Let’s just say that I’m staying in Vietnam as a long term tourist but am gonna be cooking up a storm, actively networking with goodies, looking for options and opportunities to make it more long term and less touristy.
This move was perhaps 5 years in the making. The first time I went here seems like a whole lifetime ago. For those of you who actually know me in real life, yes, that was during the infamous Summer of 21.
I remember touching down at SGN airport feeling more than a bit anxious. That was, after all, my first time to ever travel with nothing but the 7KG contents of a backpack. I think I might have been most worried about the lack of fresh underwear more than anything, but isn’t that a worry most responsible adults have to deal with at one point or another anyway?
Soon as I got out of the airport, I already loved the vibe of it all – like I’d time traveled back to my early 20’s in China but without having to deal with all the visa bullshit; not having to worry about buying weather appropriate “winter” clothes which ended up doing nothing to protect my balls from -20C winds; not having to go through the mental preparations of going back to the “Motherland” and taking full advantage of whatever supposed ethnic advantages we have.
No, none of that. Just freedom. The same freedom that I’d come to appreciate so much in Red China – something I just couldn’t feel, or enjoy in the Philippines. Not even when I was living in Hong Kong, while we’re on the subject. Which was strange, considering that this was yet another communist country, and the Philippines was touted as one of the main bastions of Western style democracy in Asia. That’s a big massive load of bullshit of course, democracy never worked. Not in 1898, not in 1985.
I highly recommend that we all try living in modern Communist societies at least once in our lives. This might be my life calling, to move to Cuba and then North Korea.
Anyway, the cab turns a corner and suddenly, I’m on some walking street. Bright lights, brand name stores, the very definition of high street. Sidewalk food vendors stinking it up so strong I could smell the crispy shallots they were sprinkling on top of whatever form of noodle and soup it was they were selling. Hordes of commies on motorbikes zipping and zooming around and the through oncoming traffic. Chaos. Utter chaos. Loved every bit of it.
And best of all, small, hole in the wall coffee shops everywhere. The cityscape was dotted with these shitty little benches where you could just plop yourself down and enjoy a strong cup of black, starting from the princely sum of 5K VND, all in sweaty, smokey, un-airconditioned extravagance.
I knew then and there that I wanted to be here.
So I moved. Just like that. 5 or 6 years late, but it happened. Bought a ticket. Packed all the necessary detritus one needs to keep one’s self reasonably presentable into 25KG. Got on the plane. Didn’t even say bye to friends or family. I think this would be the first time any of them would actually know where I am.
I guess that’s the beauty of it. Now I just need to figure out how to legally support myself for the long haul. Or maybe, semi-legally. You know, basically anything, short of resorting to prostitution or the retail sale of my organs and various body parts. I’m too fat for either anyway.
We should all move somewhere we like.