Palestinian Kid’s War Art Cancelled

This morning I came across an article in the SF Chronicle that I simply had to share with you all.  Perfect for a GC post and a GC opinion!  

Oakland museum cancels Palestinian kids’ war art – SF Chronicle

Israelis’ vs Palestinians!  What a great way to have readers immediately take a side before they have even read the article.  You have to ask yourself, am I able to read this article with an open mind or have I already applied a filter and already condemned one side or the other?  

Sarah Palin – America’s own Jean-Marie Le Pen?

Just read the article from USA today entitled  Palin blasts Ill. school’s decision not to send hoops team to Arizona.

The rebuttal was that the school is obligated to admit every student regardless of immigration status.  Therefore, if they went to Arizona it is now law that some of these players could be checked and deported.  Of course that wouldn’t happen because there would be an enormous amount of outrage but it is possible.

Yet, Palin’s view is that whoever disagrees with this conservative Arizona law and takes action on it should be attacked.

A Letter to my Foreign Friends (Living in Distant Lands) Warning: Politics involved!

Friends, Amigos and Acquaintances,

I hope you are all well and sorry for the delay in getting you updates. It has now been four years since I came back to the States and what a ride. I got a nice job and joined corporate-land where they use the English language in a strange way such as say they “have so much on my plate,” and other metaphors which take me a minute to “digest.” Things are going well but I have to say I’m really envious of you all at the moment because I’m really missing life over there!!

Observations of the Week

First, let me say that you must take the last entry about the French with a grain of salt. I like France and French people. Parisians still annoy me though. In fact, I’m reading a French book called “les États- Unis aujourd’hui; les maîtres du monde?” (The United States Today; The masters of the world?) by Jacques Portes. I really thought it was going to be a trashing of the US but actually it is extremely interesting to see how this author perceives the US (especially because he is French).It’s not negative at all and basically pretty accurate about the rise of American power, the influence of US culture and so on. For the American, I think it would be a good idea in culture class for students to read books about the US so we can get a better picture about how other nations perceive us. If you don’t speak another language, even a book written in Britian would offer some great insight.
As for my observations this week, I’ve discovered that some white people become spoiled here. As you may know, I work at a very nice country club and we just had our Halloween Party. Many people were surprised to learn that they had to pay extra for their nannies since we had to limit the amount of people we let in to prevent overcrowding. This made a lot of the caucasions mad since they become so stingy here. Also, we told them they had to make reservations and those that showed up without one were turned away. This really pissed them off since they are used to getting their own way. I swear it’s like a disease among white people here. Their salaries are so high compared to the rest of the population, but they still hate to pay for anything. You would not believe how many ask for some special “deal” to join the club which we cannot do.
In other observations, I’m starting to understand that it takes Vietnamese people about 5 seconds to realize the light has turned green. They aren’t very used to traffic lights here (in fact they don’t pay much attention to them) and their thoughts begin to wander when they actually do stop at a red light. But when the light turns green I want to go! Perhaps, I just need to stop being such an uptight American.

Vietnamese vs. French people

Another glorious day here in Saigon. I just got back from Parkson (best department store in Saigon) where I go to get Gatoraide for only 85 cents per bottle. Those other damn stores charge up to 4 dollars a bottle and so I make it a habit to get to Parksons at least once a week. Their grocery store is actually like something you would find in the USA. All the fruit is ripe, vegetables not decaying and the staff is actually working! However, one typical Vietnamese custom still pervades there and that is the habit of not wanting to wait in line if you only have one item. I had 8 items and therefore could be in the fast lane if I was in the USA but unfortunately an older woman of about 50 years old only had one ice cream box and did the old “Ditch everyone in line at the grocery store routine cause it’s tradition in Nam.” I’m a pretty laid back guy but sometimes this tradition would peeve me just the slightest bit but being in an entire culture of line ditchers I guess I would just have to adapt.
I used to believe it was communism that made people forget how to wait in line and cause massive amounts of people to simply push and shove each other to be first. But today in the store it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
And there we have it! The French influenced Vietnam quite a bit and must have taught them how to not stand in line and that pushing and shoving is a much better solution than the queue. I know! Let’s do a compare France and Vietnam.. Wouldn’t that be fun!
1. Sometimes Vietnamese don’t like to work very hard. The French petition the government and change the damn law to make sure they don’t have to work hard.
2. Vietnamese people are friendly and smile. Parisians are a pain in the ass, sourpusses who might be a little nicer if you speak to them in French first, but if not they will be downright unpleasant because maybe they cannot understand English so well. Many Vietnamese cannot understand English very well either but they always smile and will talk to you for as long as you want in Vietnamese even though you don’t understand a damn word. Our maids talk to me almost daily and I’ve never understood a single thing!
3. French people usually only go out with other French people. In this case they are like the Japanese who stick to their own group. Vietnamese aren’t afraid of foreigners as history has shown and will engage in conversation with anyone even if no understanding between the two parties is taking place.
4. Here most French can speak English. I can speak French ok, but when I try with French people they insist to speak English. Yet, they still insist their language is better. Therefore, it makes no damn sense that they want the world to use French, but never speak to non-french people in French! I wonder if I can push some of this useless language out of my brain and replace it with Chinese?
5. It is harder to rent an apartment in France than in Saigon and they have even more paperwork in Paris than the Communist Bureaucracy here in Saigon!!!! hahahahahahaha.
Ok, I’m done picking on the French for today. I feel the urge for some Freedom Fries for dinner.