Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 26 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/25/19

Monkeys

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     (# of views)   No comments
Author 4656
Message Linh Dinh
Become a Fan
  (72 fans)
Rabbit looks up, "What will you have, uncle Linh?"

"Broken rice with pork chops."

"Lots of vegetables?"

"Lots!"

She's wearing a red muscle T with a tiara-crowned blonde mermaid holding a seahorse, and, "Friends love wheres YOU find them." Even if the English was good, no one here could decipher it anyway. It's just cool to be adorned with the language of that most magical place, America, where everything, as projected, is beyond real, and the further you are from it, the more fantastic it becomes.

On the way back to Ea Kly, we passed a town, Kiến Đức, that seemed oddly desolate, with many restaurants empty or out of business.

"They must have suffered a bad season," my brother in law concluded.

"What do they grow here?" I asked.

"Sichuan pepper [tiêu] and cashews [điều]."

Since "tiêu điều" in Vietnamese is also "desolation," I joked, "That's what they get for growing desolation. They should switch to growing apricots [mai] and making fermented fish [mắm]."

Mai mắm, you see, sounds a bit like "may mắn," or "lucky." Vietnamese think like that. Since mai alone also means lucky, most Vietnamese overspend during Tet to buy at least one apricot tree in blossom, to ensure good luck for the rest of the year. It's an absurd belief, but that's culture for you.

The Vietnamese susceptibility to magic is more than counterbalanced by a clear headed practicality and common sense, for otherwise, they wouldn't be able to survive or even thrive. Take my brother in law. Though prone to mumbo jumbo, the 43-year-old has risen from nothing to become a millionaire, with his main business the making of plastic crates that are exported to Thailand. Two years ago, he traveled to India to explore the possibilities of exporting organic Vietnamese fruits and vegetables.

There is much that is irrational or fantastical in every society, with some beliefs imposed from above, sometimes abruptly, even violently. The worst beliefs aren't just costly, but suicidal, but you can't see what's killing you if you're mesmerized.

Marx is a false god, conclude most Vietnamese, so now you can drive hundreds of miles here without encountering his bearded face once, but everywhere, temples and churches are being built, and statues of Guanyin, Jesus and the Virgin Mary front millions of homes. Vietnamese breathe easier because the state no longer micro manages their lives or, worse, try to control their every thought. Surely, that's the worst evil.


(Article changed on February 25, 2019 at 06:00)

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Interesting 5   Well Said 3   Inspiring 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Linh Dinh Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Linh Dinh's Postcards from the End of America has just been published by Seven Stories Press. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.


Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Deranging America

Striking Russia through Syria

Common Dreaming

Postcard from the End of America: Lancaster County, PA

National Nervous Breakdown

Cui Bono After Orlando Pulse Club Shooting?