20 October 2008
i'm in singapore for a few days. I see tall brightly lit and excessively cooled buildings, neat, organised greenery, more rules than you can remember, clockwork and boredom... its safe and free of asian faults, a cab driver tells me... but vietnam and india with all the faults looks more human, more lively. the indian part of this city is the most impolite, crowded and messy... i see a serpentine queue outside the western union money transfer shop... india must be thrilled about all the dollars being sent home. on the streets i see indian workers stacked on little pick-up truck-carts, sipping on the clean wind on their face, gazing at a cross between madras and the west. its a good example of the greater good over individual freedom. if i were an indian girl, i probably wouldn't be saying all this. safety is something men value less, even take for granted. vietnam is exceptional because it has both chaos and safety. most of mankind's indulgences are free and everywhere in vietnam... there is more sex and alcohol and everything else on the streets than the men could want. frustration and desperation are killed when the fruits are not forbidden. its a good case for a liberal society.
in singapore, i have a friend - like-minded, speaking the same language, with similar reference points... familiarity feels strange after a break.
I miss my little town – pleiku. I miss the look in their eyes when I speak in Vietnamese. I’m truly learning something for the first time since high school. Something to wake up to.