Vietnam: Zombieland Rules Apply

So, if you’ve ever seen 2009’s Zombieland, you might remember Tallahassee and Columbus’ most applicable rule for traveling abroad, especially in somewhere so foreign like Vietnam: Enjoy the little things.

(As a side note, I love the idea of being named after the big city closest to you. If you do, too, you can call me Boston or Concord. I kinda like Concord. So, call me Concord.)

ANYway, it was one hell of a week. It didn’t start well, and even as I got over last weekend’s exhaustion/sickness, I ended it by bungling the times of a bunch of last-minute interviews at work. As you can imagine, everything in between was a hair less than peachy.

But today, two little things happened. First, I finally managed to dual boot Linux on my Chromebook, a problem I’ve been tinkering with for weeks (and the solution to which was, of course, simple, as most of these things are). To put it simply, I was damn proud of myself.

Second, my boss told me that he didn’t spend as much time with me this week, and said that we’d catch up soon. To put it simply again, I felt valuable. Not like “hoard of ancient Mycenaean gold and treasure” valuable, but that he cared enough to say so- and that meant so much to me.

I definitely identify with Tallahassee- I hate coconut, (not the taste, the consistency), a lover of Bill Murray, and constantly in search of the elusive Twinkie (except for me, it’s beef jerky. For the love of Groundhog Day, could someone tell me why it’s so rare and expensive here? Also, give that movie another watch. It’s a gem in the rough). I also can’t deny that he’s got his priorities lined right up with mine, for better or worse- and in a land you don’t fully understand, you can allow yourself a few pleasures, and only a few rules.

So, in short, enjoy the little things- because those little things may not be so little, after all. By enjoying some little things, today I feel pride and personal value. Whether you’re in Zombieland or Vietnam, those are the results of some rules I can live by. This is Concord, signing off from Hanoi.

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Author: A Quiet American

I'm a former graduate student and instructor of Classical Studies (not, like, the Brontë sisters and Shakespeare, but Plato and Sappho-ancient classics), and my specialty was Ancient Greek language and literature, on which I wrote my Master's thesis. After that three and a half year ordeal, as well as a few startling changes like kicking alcohol cold turkey and a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, I briefly worked in a Thai restaurant long enough to earn the money to get out of the US. It seemed like a logical option at the time, and it's turning out to be more than I could have ever imagined. My aim is to show people like me, people with problems and shackles and hangups, that its possible, and maybe even healthy, to change your environment for a little bit. My "little bit" went from 3 months to almost a year and counting, and I'm learning something new about myself every day. I'm learning how to stave off anger and focus on positive thinking, a bit of mediation, and the virtues of optimistic nihilism.

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