Sede Vacante

The light is on but no one is home.

Archive for urban living

Comfort is Opium

This is the best quarterpounder in the world.

I’ve been in Vietnam for 76 days now. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from home and hearth.  It would have been ok if I were stuck in Tokyo or Amsterdam.  Sadly, despite all my efforts, I’ve realized that I’m irrevocably too westernized for my own good.

As I’ve said in a previous post, the problem with Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) is that it’s too much like Manila; in terms of the pollution, the noise, and the way things look like in general.  That means there’s very little novelty to living here other than the occasional trip to a pagoda or a temple (of which I’ve done enough to last me a lifetime).

And sadly, it’s not even enough like Manila (or any other western city) to lull me into a distracting level of comfort.  There are no real malls, there are no McDonald’s, no Starbucks.  And whatever elements of the west you CAN find (some cool bars and clubs), are so chock full of the “wrong” kinds of white folks and snooty nouveau-rich that it’s difficult to just have a good time.

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