One Man’s Trash

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Vietnam: I don’t get it. Obama was just here and called it charming. When his speechwriter typed that sentence, MS Word autocorrected it to shithole.

I’ve lived here for a few months, given it some time. But this is a taste you can’t acquire. Vietnam is a savage backwater prison yard with fourth-world infrastructure. And a rush hour that lasts from six a.m. to eleven p.m. And noxious air pollution that makes your skin bubble up and hiss steam like you’re on the Total Recall version of Mars. And bent cops in the same uniforms the Russians wear in Goldeneye N64 who lean out of doorways with batons. And legions of mule-sized rats, apostles of the new Black Plague, who form gangs at night and go looking for ankles. And ashy smoke columns from the trash fires everyone lights at dusk. And a city-wide PA system blasting high-decibel Communist hymns for an hour every afternoon. And goddamn, this place is ugly. Hanoi looks like District 9.

Hard on the eyes, ears, lungs, nerves. This place needs a trillion-dollar infusion of Western cash. The same get-out-of-poverty-free handout South Korea got and then promptly acted like it didn’t. Vietnam didn’t get any money, because they had the wrong founding father. Hanoi is the answer to the question: what happens if we build a city and then let it rot for fifty years. So, pretty much the same thing as Los Angeles.

But I will put up with it all because it’s cheap and so am I. As long as I’m making no money, then I’ll keep acting like it’s cool to be this way.

I hope America fully collapses so I can feel better about marooning myself over here. Hillary and her email servers are too boring to do damage. So, go Trump.

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