Saturday, September 27, 2014

Life-saving proverb for husbands.

I mostly did this just for fun. But two things inspired me: anecdotes from the facebook page Another Side of Vietnam where guys talk about having to lock themselves in their rooms after a frying pan attack and one time in Boston.

It was a tough trip in general. But we had to get off a certain train stop to get to their "Little Italy," and for some reason she thought it was the wrong stop (she's right more often than not). I didn't know how to argue with her, and time was running out, so I just got out. She followed me and just started pummeling me with those extremely tiny fists--seriously, it's like her whole body grew up and left her hands behind. It's like being attacked by soft pompoms on a plastic stick.

While I felt absolutely nothing, it is sort of embarrassing with everyone watching. When she'd exhausted herself, I pointed to Little Italy and said we should get some lunch. Well, she had one of her extremely rare apologetic moods, which is absolutely adorable, and lunch was very nice. But the cannolis were entirely too sweet.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vietnamese Talking

So I'm looking at two other mixed race couple cartoons: and
Why do they appear to be living in absolute tranquility? Is it a man/ woman thing? A Vietnam vs Japan or Korea thing? Or do we just have different modes of storytelling--an urge to portray different aspects of our relationships? I mean, I'm definitely still head-over-heels about my wife, but I wouldn't ever call her nice. She's many wonderful things, just not that. And she lets me know that she loves me in extremely subtle ways, and she's more endearing for that. But in between the sweetness, there's a whole lot of OTHER stuff I'm just not seeing in the other folks.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Got Tears in Mah Ears

Ok, I've deleted the last commentary and I'm going to keep trying until I get it right.

So the inspiration behind this cartoon is that it actually happened. I did think about jumping out the window but opted to lock myself in my room instead.

But how to explain this? When I did my first commentary, I did a pretty sucky job. In typical New Yorker fashion (especially the pre-coffee (pre-tea in my case), post subway mode) I invented a type of people who fit a certain stereotype and then attacked them. Thankfully I was called out and I got rid of the commentary.

But seriously, how to explain this? I did some research and found ( someone who asked "why don't some people like country music?" The top rated answers were all "I love country but I hate that country/ jazz, country/ rave/ country rap stuff." That isn't really an answer.

So all I can come up with now is that music is not liked, it's worshipped--no one can tell you why they like something. It's also visceral--no one can tell you why it constricts their bowels. Yes, there may be a class issue or whatever, and Vietnamese have a very similar and very vehement city vs country thing going, but this does not explain why I would jump out of a window rather than listen to country (and rap and raggae-ton, though I'm more exposed to these and therefore more resilient). And, like anything else political or multilayered, I can't discuss these things with my wife. Especially when I give reasons and she says "No" or "You Crazy!" Maybe it's just a man/ woman thing?

So I guess I have less answers, some excuses for my awful internet etiquette, an apology snuck in there, and I'll give it a week before wiping it clean and starting again with a one-liner cop-out.

Monday, September 8, 2014


There are so many cliches about Vietnamese traffic--flowing rivers, stampede of ants, blah blah blah. One poet stealing from another. Why does no one make the connection with Super Mario Kart? As someone who survived a year and a half of driving (and much of this on an electric bike, no less), I can tell you the secret: play the game's music in your head. You will get this false sense of security--this is just fun! That guy barging at you through the crowd on a one-way street? It's just a red turtle shell--strafe and drift. The kid throwing crap from his sidecar? Just banana peels, get the star and ram him. Without the music, it is total insanity and every second you will freak out because you are going to die.

Then again, since I moved back, the new "modern" Saigon is all car gridlock, which is a very different and sucky game. Maybe arkanoid with 5 balls and no lasers.