Monday, June 20, 2011

So, it's been two-and-a-half years now.....

.....that I have been residing in Hai Phong.

It's amazing how things happen.  I didn't expect this....I know it's trite to say, but, Jesus - Guess things don't go as

What was the plan....??

Errrmmm.......weeeeeellll.......there really wasn't a "plan" per se.....

OK.  Well, then, what was I expecting (or, perhaps, predicting) in, say....oooooh......January, 2008?

Well, if we're gonna start at the beginning of '08, it had pretty much been made clear in my mind that I wasn't going to continue working in the rather toxic environment (NOT involving only myself, but several colleagues in my workplace) I had been employed in during the previous two years.  I'd go into detail, but let's just say that if something really weird happened, and my and my family's asses DID somehow end up back in The States, I'd like to obtain at least a kind of neutral reference when a future potential employer comes calling round inquiring on my deep, dark, misty past.  Sooooo, it was January-ish 2008 when I had decided that I had best take some time off, recoup, and get back at it with a fresher mental state of being!

So, figured that early April was as good a time as any to depart said place of employ.  In INITIAL retrospect, this was a colossal mistake, as, unbeknownst to me, this time had marked thee very beginning of the economic depression that the United States and most of Europe is currently mired in (LOTTA good that minor in Economics did me, considering that I didn't even see this shit coming at that time).

That was INITIAL the LONGER-TERM retrospect, it was probably the best thing I coulda done.  Yeah, stability is gone, but stability (to an extent) is overrated, especially when you compare it on my new unit of economic measurement.  No, it's NOT the "Consumer Confidence Index", nor the "Durable Goods Consumption Indicator".....but rather the "Misery/Stability Ratio Formulator."

I have nooo idea exactly WHAT the fuck that is....but it sounds impressive.  Just gimme time - I'll write a dissertation defining the Misery/Stability Ratio Formulator....then I'll hop over to Stockholm and grab my Nobel.

Or, I could just swing by Stockholm and scream - "I am NOT George W. Bush and NOR am I Milton Friedman, so mind if I just grab one of those gold medal thingies over there and leave?"

Hey....that seemed to work for a certain United States why not try it?

Anyways, I miss my co-workers (a lot of good, caring souls still toil away at that place), but I see most of them whenever I head back to my home base of Portlandia (I'm really sorry....seriously I am....but I will never consider Hai Phong "home" in any manner of speaking or expression). I have been ironically blessed in being able to return to Portland at least once a year.  I say "ironically blessed" in that the circumstances that have returned me to the United States a few times during the last two and a half years have NOT always been very pleasant ones.

Anyways this tangent is extending too far.....

Cashed in some accumulated frequent flyer miles in March of '08 and figured that it's time to get out of the country for a bit. Didn't know where, though!  Resided briefly in the U.K. and have been to Europe more than enough times.  WAS supposed to go to Australia in '98, but that got nixed when I cashed in THOSE miles to take my then-girlfriend and myself back to Buffalo to attend a former acquaintance's wedding that I got invited to by proxy.  Needless to say, THAT turned out to be a waste of time off and airline miles.  But Oz wasn't what I was I was looking for at this time....wanted someplace weird.  Reeeaaalllly came close to hitting Southern Chile, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (I'll go to the ends of the Earth to view stunning Geography, and it really does not get closer to the end of the Earth than Patagonia), but I decided to spend a month is Southeast Asia.

Why??  Why the hell not??  I mean, it doesn't get anymore "un-Western" and weirder than SouthEast Asia.

As written in this very same blog three years ago, I had spent a month in China, Vietnam and Thailand and basically had a blast!!  One day after I returned from Asia to Portland, I began what would end up being a 12,000-plus mile scooter ride around the perimetre of the United States.  Upon completion of that ride in early August, I had settled back into my Cedar Hills abode and, refreshed and ready to hit it, begin the task of seeking employment again.

THAT didn't quite work out......the economic depression was, by that time, in full swing.

With rapidly dwindling savings, and frustration setting in from the unsuccessful job hunt, I had given up in December of '08 and rolled the dice - gonna take my chances teaching English in Viet Nam.  Already had a job offer in hand after about five inquires (one job offer), which was one more job offer than I had received in The States after countless resumes and applications (zero job offers).

NOW, back to the original point:  WHAT was I expecting to happen (at that time - January 2009)??

Well, I had obtained a six-month visa for Vietnam, and made a half-assed plan where I took most of my possessions and tossed them into storage, stored my car in a friends garage and let another friend use a computer that I had built from scratch (and this fucker was HOT - quad-core AMD Phenom with 4 gigs of RAM and this thing could launch space shuttles)!

IF everything seemed to go well in Vietnam AND/OR the Economic Depression in The States had remained OR had gotten worse (it had gotten worse in June of '09) after six months, I was gonna sell my stuff in storage, give my car to my friend whose garage it was stored in and give my computer to my other friend who I loaned it to.

Truthfully, I was expecting that shit would simmer down in The States by Summer '09, I'd be hearing any day from a company or Governmental agency about a job offer, and I'd prolly head back!


Instead, I met a girl, fell into love, and we opened an English language school together!  Plus the Economic Depression in The States was getting reeeeaaaal the half-assed plan AT THAT TIME (Summer '09) changed to "Weeelllll.....I'm gonna hang here for the immediate future and see what happens....."

....and now?  I'm married, with a beautiful freelance/independent contract work teaching English.....and really can't imagine just WHAT the hell I'd be doing if I had never left America.  Given multiple friends and relatives of mine who were and/or are unemployed....I literally shudder at where I'd prolly be at right now in The States.

"OK, thass nice.  So that was Summer 2009.  What about NOW?"

Well, before December 2010, I HAD thought that my family and I would head over there....first-world standard of living, better education for my daughter, yadda yadda yadda, and, before I took off for a visit to Buffalo and Portland in December, I was looking at the cheerleading of MSNBC, FOXNEWS, CNN, etc....literally pretty much ALL of 'em..... and how there'd be advertisements from The U.S. Chamber of Commerce/Commerce Department/Forbes, etc that were masquerading as "news stories" with headlines like "Consumer Confidence Index hits highest mark in four months" - "Unemployment drops for the third straight month" - "Recovery is enroute!!" and shit like that....and, I'll admit - I let it get to me and it did give me the warm and fuzzies inside.....

And I was also looking at Wall Street and how The Dow and the NASDAQ were doing quite nicely, thank you!

Well, hell, I figured!  We're heading over to The States!!  Better education for our daughter....first-world standard of living.....blah blah blah......

Then, I landed.

I'd spent four-plus months in The States (December and January 2010-2011 and again March - May 2011), and I basically landed on Main Street, four+ months....

....I wasn't too sure WHAT or WHICH America it was that Wall Street and the major media outlets were looking at and talking about as recovering nicely, but, economically, it was a polar opposite from the America that I saw.

The main deal-breaker, truthfully, was how I had been soured by the current cultural mindset of large numbers of Americans.  In the beginning of shit times, say mid-2008, you were unemployed and on the dole and the reaction of both, individuals and the populous in general was pretty much - "Aw man, that sucks!  Really sorry to hear that...."

.....NOW, the collective American persona has literally become this rampant fucking self-absorbed hate-fest!!  "Obamacare can burn in hell - I GOT HEALTH INSURANCE through MY job...." - "Fuck 'em, yeah:  LET'S DO drug-testing for those receiving Public Assistance!!" - "Let's send Welfare recipients into abandoned prisons that we converted to dorm-style accommodations and teach them proper hygiene!" - "I'm going to join The Tea Party".......

....stuff like that!  All of which were direct quotes I had heard myself or read that were attributed to everybody from The Man On The Street to high-level politicians!

The environment in The States has become so filled with venom, it had gotten to the point where I wasn't really sure if I wanted my daughter to grow up in a society where the weakest and those least able to defend themselves became a handy scapegoat to the masses. Masses that are either too ignorant, too lazy or too self-absorbed to peel back the mask and discover the real reasons why the United States is actually in the economic shitstorm that is has been in for the past three years running!

"'Real reasons why....' the United States is in an economic shitstorm?  What the hell are you talking about?"

I could write a book on explaining this, but the only thing I can tell you right now is that the "Dirty F*cking Hippies Were Right!"

I mean, the entire four+ months there were rather traumatic for me.  NOT because of the reasons listed above so much, but simply because in early December 2010, I HAD IT DEAD SET IN MY HEART OF HEARTS that this was going to be it!!  My family and I were headed back there to America....ittza done deal.....

I DID get the warm and fuzzies inside me from hearing the media spout stories on the "improving" economy like cheerleaders at a high-school football game in Texas, I WAS concerned about the quality of education in Viet Nam, and I had an unlucky run of a few ugly incidents occur here (see below) that pretty much put all the nails in the coffin of the idea of my family and I staying here in Vietnam.....all the nails that would later be ripped out by the metaphorical crowbar of actually witnessing the REALITY of surviving in The United States in 2011.....

Consider these episodes displaying the loveliness of North Vietnam for me wanting to head back to The States:


About seven or so months ago, I was relaxing at home with my family when somebody rang the doorbell.  I went downstairs and answered it.  It was some Vietnamese guy who spoke no English, and my Vietnamese wasn't that good on that particular I assumed that it was a student's parent, and I went and got my wife and I proceeded to head back upstairs and hang out with my daughter. 

Later, I ask Tam if that was some student's parent or something.  She responded that, no, actually it was a policeman, and he's snooping around because my wife and I aren't legally married (because I refused to pay a 50 Million Dong bribe to the Hai Phong Department of "Justice" for the actual legal marriage paper [yes, it IS 50 Million Dong as the going rate and I have TWO foreigners who had paid this bribe to said Hai Phong Department of Justice for the coveted paper to prove it]).  "Oh, that's nice" I said and went back to my business, not giving a single shit about this.

Tam then stated that he would be back with his supervisor this afternoon.  "GOOD! I'll be here." I told her, smiling.  "No, you will leave the house!" she responded back, growling.  "Sure, whatever, mật ong" I shot back smiling.

So, around three that afternoon, they came back and rang the doorbell.  I, through the locked wrought iron
cage that is our front gate, handed them a note that I had punched through Google Translate.  Now, Google Translate is THEE worst translation program on Earf, but it's quick and efficient and gets the gist across (kinda).  The translation basically stated that my blood daughter and I reside here, and that you you WILL LEAVE MY FAMILY ALONE and not bother us ANYMORE.  If not, then I will make some phone calls, and it will not result in a pleasant situation for you two!!

This note was being read by said police while a very pissed off 6-foot 215lb. Westerner father with a veeery ugly Billy Idol snarl plastered on his face was stating in a very loud voice "KHONG HOI LO, VANG?"  ("NO bribes, you understand?")....

....these cops basically shit themselves.....literally!  Christ - I'd hate to see them in an actual CRIME situation, like, say, an armed robbery at a convenience store or something......they'd prolly be cowering behind the dumpster.......

So, I asked them in my shitty grasp of the Vietnamese language if they which they responded "yes, yes" I said "Good!  Now you can go talk to my wife" and let them in.  They chatted with my wife all the while I watched from the opposite side of the room and glared whilst bouncing my daughter up and down on my lap.

They left, and I was fully expecting the riot squad to be showing up in about fifteen minutes, NOT planning to deport my ass, but rather to plant my ass into Tran Phu prison (one of the "Big Five" prisons in Vietnam, and conveniently located less than two blocks from my house)!

But they never came back.....which I thought was odd....because, at the very least, I was fully expecting [and SLIGHTLY hoping for] them to deport my ass....but no.

It was some days later when I had asked my wife - "Mật ong, what ever happened to those two cops who were harassing us the other day?  They didn't come back!"

"Oh, I know, Hon.  I went down to the station house and soothed everything over and paid them a bribe!"

It was like The Rocketeer...I went straight through the fucking ionosphere!  

Finally, I landed back on Earth.

"*sputter* *sputter*....WHAT THE FUCK, Tam???!!??"

"Honey...your actions caused them to lose their face, and it....."

"LOSE THEIR FACE??  They are harassing and threatening MY FAMILY and you are concerned about EMBARRASSING them??!!??"

"Hon....they were very angry at you and because....."

"They were ANGRY AT ME?  M
ật ong, I almost had to run to the drug store and buy them some Depends, for Christ sakes....."

Still, they haven't been back since....although there have been rumours that the Canh Sat (Police squad - in color) DO read this blog, so maybe the paddy wagon might come by after all.....


Somehow, they found me.....

....they always find me.

Be they Police Squad (in color) they some Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese who have been living in a Western nation for most of their lives) who wants to ask me a trillion questions and wants to know what life in Hai Phong and what teaching English is really they some director at some English language school who is begging me to teach at their centre.....

.....they always find me.

I haf no idea how!  I TRY to keep a low profile, but it really doesn't matter.  ANYBODY in Hai Phong can easily be found.  NONE of your business is really YOUR business....NONE of your privacy really exists in Hai Phong.  There really isn't much to do at all in Hai the populous here just engage each other in massive amounts of gossip.  And given that, in a city of 2.5 Million people, I'm one of, say, maybe a hundred Westerners....well, the "sore thumb" factor really comes into play here......, anyways, about five months ago, these folks come up and ring my doorbell. "Oh Christ, NOT AGAIN!!" was my first reaction...but they (kinda-sorta) spoke I knew they weren't Canh Sat ('cause I had been told [DISCLAIMER - I DO NOT know as fact that this is true] that all Canh Sat are REQUIRED to have a very rudimentary grasp of English, but that most of the cops just buy their English language certificates).  So I invited them in and didn't have any green tea for them, so I tossed them some beer.

Apparently, they wanted me to teach at their brand new kiddie-kiddie (Kindergarten through, maybe, grade three) English language school once per week.  I told them, regretfully, that, whilst I am very honoured by their interest, that I must respectfully refuse.  You see, I freelance and contract with private groups of parents to instruct their children on the English language or private groups of adults for whatever specific purpose they need to improve their English for, or I do individual tutoring (usually TOEFL tutoring or F-1 visa consultation).  Sadly, I do not whore myself out to larger English language schools (I done did that for the first three months of my tenure here and that wore thin real quick), but I explained this to them in a most appropriate manner (I didn't use the exact terminology of "I'm not gonna whore for you!").

Which is funny, 'cause thass exactly what I ended up doing.....

Despite that I attempted to nicely explain to them that I am NOT their ideal candidate, the director and his minion were quite insistent that I teach for their school.  They then went over to their corner of the wrestling ring and slapped my wife's hand.  She then entered the ring and said "Hon-neeee, I feel that it would be a good idea for you to try out teaching at their centre."

Gotta love tag-teams.....

So, I said "Fine....I'll do a brief teaching session for'll be an'll be at my normal hourly rate of blah blah blah (NOTE - I do NOT do "demo" lessons!  "Demo" lessons are basically free labour for the school where the director evaluates your teaching performance and determines whether it is a good idea to hire you or not.  They're basically unpaid teaching sessions that can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to two weeks.  I don't waste time with demos.....they're basically for high school dropouts who have little or no experience teaching.  It will be my privilege and my honour to provide you with references....but please, don't waste my time with demo lessons!) .....and I'll see you Saturday Morning."

It was some kiddie school named "Pudoodoo" or something weird like that (JUST NOW checked antique "sent" is called "Popodoo" and if you're really bored, well, here they are) with a purple dinosaur as their mascot that suspiciously resembles this one thing that used to sing "I love love me...." on PBS back in the early 90's.  Got there Saturday Morning at thee appointed time, and I'm just literally standing around for like half an hour, admiring the carved ceilings, the totally spotless interior and mammoth wall murals and figuring "WOW!  Somebody dropped/invested an ASSLOAD of ca$h on this place" when a teacher's aide finally came up to me and led me around.  Finally, some management-looking figure came by and said - "OH!  We are so glad that you are here!  Please come this way...." and she took a closer look and said - "Oh, I am must remove your earring."

Now, the last two jobs (actually thee ONLY two jobs) that I was told I must remove my earring resulted in me removing myself from their, this was not getting off to an ideal start!  Still, I was bored, so I humored them and took out my Kokopelli earring and continued....

"Errrmmm....uhhhh.....the appointed time was 8AM, and I had agreed to an hour....and we're already 30 minutes into it, so we prolly should get the show on the road here.  Where's the classroom?"

" teach soon.  Follow Miss Hang (a teacher's aide) into classroom"

So, I go into the classroom, play a flash-card game with animal pictures on them with a group of five-year-olds and then gesture to a student for an answer to "What animal is this?"





"Uhhhh....Miss Hang?  I guess this student doesn't know.....?"

"No, no Mr. E, you must shout 'WHO WANTS TO ANSWER' to the students."

"Errrmmm....OK - 'WHO WANTS TO ANSWER?'"

Twenty loud, high-pitched squealing voices all should back "TEACHER TEACHER - PLEASE PICK ME!!!!!" all the while doing this bizarre hand-rolling, ritualistic dance.

"Errrmm....whoa.....seems kinda militaristic....."

"I'm sorry....I don't understand...."

"Never mind.  OK, great, so class is done....uhhhh, where do I meet Mr. Dung (the director guy who came over to my house) and settle things?"

"Soon...but hurry!!  Now, we have presentation!"

"Uhhh.....'presentation'?  Is there some sort of ceremony when you present me with my pay for this hour [which actually by now was at 90 minutes]?  Or is somebody going to present me to Mr. Dung?  Uhhhh........"

"No, no - we have a presentation for the parents of the students!  They are seated in auditorium.  OK OK!  Now, here is what you do and say and......"

"Whhhhoooooa!  Back up the truck here!  Uhhhh....there was nothing mentioned about a 'presentation' involving parents and...."

"Please - we must hurry.  Now, you will hand out a balloon and a candy to each student in the front of the auditorium and you will ask - 'Students?  What is THIS animal...and you will shout WHO WANTS TO ANSWER?' to the students and then......"


"No time.  Here, put on Podudu T-Shirt.  It fit you.  It XXL size"

I examine the bright red garment - "Lady, this thing wouldn't fit a Goddamm hand puppet...."

" OK! Is OK!  Just go into auditorium now!!!  Hurry!!"

Oh Christ....I was being whored out!  "Whored out" basically in the respect that, as mentioned earlier in this post, in Hai Phong, there are maybe ninety Westerners in this city of 2.5 million people.  And maybe, on a good day, twenty of them actually are teachers of English (and, much to the chagrin of the Directors of the English language centres in this city, all twenty of them KNOW each other.  I say " the chagrin of the Directors...." because all twenty ALSO tend to look out for each other, soooo.....)!!  So, obviously, there is a numerical disproportion that creates a severe shortage!  And what happens is that when a school is lucky enough (or does enough fast-talking and promises the Moon) to actually bag a Tây, well, shit - they GOTTA parade the Tây around as much as they can for drumming up some business!! 

(Obviously, this DOES NOT happen in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, which is where over 90% of those Westerners teaching English head towards).

So I was being whored....great.....

So, after about 30 minutes of dancing like a clown in front of appreciative Vietnamese parents, I finally met up with Director Dung.

"So how do you like our school?"


"Ahhh!  Good, good!  So we see you on Monday, and....."

"Errmm....right, sure.  Now, about my pay for today - I was actually here at the appointed time of eight o'clock, and it's now ten, so......"

"Yes, we need to talk......"

Aw fuck!!  Here we go again........

"You see, you only teach and present for one hour so....."

"Fine....skip it - just give me the hourly pay and we'll call it good....."

"Ahhhhh.....yes, we need to talk......"

"Uhhh....what now?"

"Well, your attire.  You see, we have our staff dress in formal clothes and, well, you come here dressed as you do, and......"

"So sorry!  SOOO sorry!  On Monday, I wear proper dress!!" (Like, you're really gonna see my ass back here on Monday??!!??)

"Ahhh....good good.  But for today, you not dress I can only pay you XXXXXX....." (which was a hundred thousand Dong less than agreed upon, because, apparently, my usual costume of a red and black striped Baja sweater and khaki slacks weren't good enough).

"No problem [there was NOTHING I wanted more than to get the fuck OUT of there....the place was giving me the severe creeps]!  I take 100,000 Dong LESS then what we AGREED upon today!  Great.  However, in the future, I come back on Monday with button-down shirt and formal dress trousers.....and my rate is now XXXXXX Dong per hour" (basically 300,000VND more than what we agreed upon for today).

"Aaaaah...we cannot do that......"

So basically, right then and there I said my final good-byes and that was that.  Before I left, though, this guy actually had the cubes to ask me - " - you know other foreign teacher who can work for us??"

"I'll ask around for ya!"


Well, for some fucked-up reason, I actually DID ask around for him.  Did NOT ask around actively at all....but an American friend of mine was in some fiscal dire straits....severely dire straits!!  I was NOT pleased at all with the concept of mentioning Podudu to him....but, shit - when a guy's got 200,000 Dong to survive on forra whole fucking week ('cause his regular school was NOT giving him the weekly number of  classroom hours they had agreed to give him), well....desperate times call for desperate measures!

Now, this guy is as Cracka as they come....not MUCH teaching experience, but he has a Master's degree in ESL, really sweet kid who has a birth defect of some sort (never asked him at all about it ever) that forces him to walk with a rather pronounced limp in his left leg.  So, I sent him there.  Called Dung and told him to expect my American  friend to come over and do a class for him Thursday morning at ten!

I call my friend Thursday at noon - 

"Hey!  Soooo....pretty scary place, innit?"

"Uhhh....I wouldn't know"

"Ahhhhh...gotcha.  Skipped out on the whole deal.  Prolly NOT a bad idea on your part.....they're kinda dodgy like I told ya, and ....."

"  THEY skipped out on ME."


"I there, and waited in the lobby for, like, 45 minutes.  Then this, like, receptionist finally comes over to me and says 'Uhhh, we do not need you.  Thank you....'  I ask why, and what's going on, and she only says something about how '...we want Ernie to teach for us...' or something like that, and I asked to see this Director Dung, but she said that he was busy and she then gave me 50,000 Dong for my transportation costs to get there......"

Soooo.....back on came The Rocketeer virtual jet-pack as I flew in rage PAST the ionosphere this time and just about into outer space!  

I HAD planned to go over there to Podudu myself and, uhhh, have a word with Dung when a normally rather violent Aussie friend of mine (for some weird reason) talked me outta that idea.

I KNEW the fucking score....he wasn't perfect!  (TRUST ME - the Vietnamese demand perfection in appearances- gold shops/cash exchange points won't even accept an American $20 bill if is has a TINY tear or has a small ink spot on it, for example)....., instead, I decided to play dumb and E-Mail Mr. Dung.  Below is the cut-and-paste from the E-Mails:

Mister Dung -

I had been trying to get ahold of you.  I am trying to find out what happened with the Tay teacher that I had sent there. Â I told him this would be a position of a few days a week and it will pay at least 400,000VND per classroom hour.

___________ told me when he got there that he sat in the front office for half an hour, then was told that he was not needed, and then sent home.

He was not paid for a half hour of his time wasted.  He was only given 50,000VND for transportation expenses.

Could you please tell me the truth as to WHAT EXACTLY happened and why it did not work with _________?

Many thanks,



From - DungLV  02/19/2011

Hi Ernie,

Sorry Ernie, I did not hire him because his legs are not good for performance and you did not talk about this to me.

Thanks and best regards.


Hello Mister Dung....

I am very sorry.  I do not understand? 

Is it _________'s legs that are going to be teaching the students, or his brain?

I think what has happened here is that with both myself and with _________, you did NOT make the criteria/requirements  (tiêu chuẩn/yêu cầu) known to myself or 
to __________ (for example, business-style dress, no jewelery, perfect physical condition) before asking us to teach.

Sadly, not compensating _________ for his time spent waiting to teach (30 minutes)and giving him only 50,000VND for the transportation cost was dishonourable for PoPoDoo school to do that.

There are only 25 Tay Tieng Anh teachers in Hai Phong (between V.A.T.C., Tyndale, Apollo and other centres) and, sadly, they all are friends with each other.

When things like this happen, the word and the news about _________ not being allowed to teach at your centre because of how his legs are will travel quickly to the other Tay teachers in Hai Phong, and they will not look favourably upon PoPoDoo.  I don't talk about things like this to other Tay teachers....but other people might.

I am sorry that this story had to have such a sad ending, when it could have had a happy ending for all.  What a pity.

Best of luck with PoPoDoo's future success!


No shit - the middle E-Mail was thee actual quote-by-quote response from Dung.......Jesus......

Now, obviously, one would suspect that the collective ass of my wife, my daughter and I would be running straight to The States screaming "ARRRGH!  Get us OUTTA HERE!!" after these two episodes (and a couple others that, in the interest of brevity, I did not include here)......

....but after spending time examining the economic and cultural landscape in the United States for an extensive period of time and not particularly liking the way it has shifted, we're back to the "Weeelllll.....we're just gonna hang here for the immediate future and see what happens....." stage again.....

Plus, I don't really kill myself here and we do allright!!  Literally!

The entire concept of working 45-50-plus hours per week for some absolute douchebag supervisor/manager who would throw you under the bus in a heartbeat if it meant saving/promoting his or her career....weeeelllll....honestly?  It gives me nightmares.....

BUT.....BUT...we ARE investigating the possibility of actually moving to another location inside Viet Nam (which, to me, would make all the difference in the world)....

So stay tuned......




Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog entry. Good writing. You live on another planet !

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, E. What a roller coaster; glad you have a better half to round things out.

Don't write off all of America....yet.

Loved the Police Squad link.


E said...

Thanks so much, Judy....yeah, it kind of IS another planet.....I really never know WHAT to expect here....every day brings new surprises.

Yeah, Hacksaw - stability is over-rated.....but it's a lot less stressful. Haven't TOTALLY written off The States 100% yet - still get weird itches whenever I see more and more new jobs on websites like the APA's site and I long for stuff like dishwashers, clothes dryers and a basic level of sanitation.....but I always hold back! As appealing as first-world amenities might be, NOBODY'S got me by the cubes here.....I make my OWN living. Disagreements occur that cannot be reconciled here? The client and I mutually part ways with no hard feelings and such is life!

Between the sheer and utter bureaucratic and regulatory nightmare of operating your own business / freelance gig in The States (I know - funny to hear this coming from "The Code Can Do NO Wrong" sort that I used to be as The Counter Toad) and the fact that mutually walking away from an employment situation after failing to come to a reconciliation after a disagreement isn't the best thing for one's bottom line or even one's basic survival, well.....I'll hang least forra bit!!