Sunday, September 7, 2008

Devil's Advocate

I'm really just curious why no one has called this what it is. NATIONALIZATION. Dirty word isn't it? Even looks dirty there in bold. Why aren't the capitalists screaming? FDR created them, LBJ privatized them. When Chavez does it, it's criminal, when we do it it's rescue...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MotoFoto of the Week

Sunday, June 22, 2008

MotoFoto of the Week

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fast Food and Democracy

Alright, I think it's time for me to tell you guys something. I've been beating around the bush and wondering how to break it to you, but I think I just gotta come out and say it. If you're an American, over the age of 25, brace yourself, the truth might hurt. Ready? You (read we) are fat.

There now, that wasn't so bad. It's o.k. Don't cry. You can still go to the gym, make a News Years resolution, or just stop buying the trash can size container of chip dip twice a week. You could do all three!! You can choose from thousands of diet options with ready made meal plans which guarantee you won't feel hungry or you can pay someone to personally train you and yell motivating things at you while you jog slowly on an unplugged treadmill. You can do it!!. You can go to the doctor and have someone suck that fat right out, or have you stomach stapled to make you stop eating like such a pig. All you have to do is want to.

We could go more in depth about ways to stop being fat, or discuss all the reasons why we became so fat, but that's a different blog on a different day. The point is we're fat. And the Vietnamese are not. Since I arrived in Vietnam I have seen exactly two fat Vietnamese people, and one of them might have been pregnant. Here you can also see hoards of foreign tourists visiting Hanoi, and I'm telling ya, the tourists got the weight advantage by at least 2 to 1.

For the past few years of my life I've been making a concerted effort to only live in places where there isn't a McDonald's. Ok, I exaggerate, it wasn't really a concerted effort, merely a pleasant coincidence. But still, two out of the last three places I've lived didn't have the golden arches. These days, if it were a concerted effort it would be a pretty difficult thing to accomplish. The golden arches are everywhere.

Hanoi is one of the few empty places on the McDonald's map. But, while thankfully there still isn't a McDonald's, there are a few other American fast food joints. Pizza Hut has just recently opened up shop in town, and KFC has been around for a few years now and has become a favorite of local teens . Some of you may be surprised by the particular choice of KFC as first and favorite in Vietnam. For you I have only this to say - Have you ever seen Ho Chi Minh and Colonel Sanders in a room at the same time?

But I digress, the point is, Vietnam may soon catch up to our enormousness. Everyone remembers the story about the first Mcdonald's opening up in Russia. I can tell you from experience the results are visible. Since McDonald's opened it's doors in Russia, obesity in children has grown by 38%.

So, American capitalists, keep your fingers crossed. It seems that we don't need to slim down, we just need to wait a while until the rest of the world is as fat as us. That method has worked in our vigorous export of democracy. This is clearly a game of follow the leader. Just look at the successful elections in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. Maybe next we can start to export our education system? Message to world Ministers of Education : If you want to be ahead of the curve, slow down now.

Then again, maybe it's not America's fault because we didn't say "Simon Says...."

Saturday, May 31, 2008

MotoFoto of the Week

Saturday, May 24, 2008

MotoFoto of the Week

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A New Feature...

One of the best things about living abroad is all the different things that you see, hear, taste and even sometimes smell, for better or for worse, that you usually wouldn't experience if you were living at home. Here in Hanoi, one of the major differences from home is the transportation. Mopeds. Everywhere. Thousands of them. Hundreds of thousands of them. Mopeds, or as they are often called here, "Mo-Toe Bi" (say it aloud) are the cities main source of transportation. If you don't have your own, the Xe Om (motorbike taxis) are convienent and cheap, and only slightly dangerous. Motorbikes are used to carry everything from freshly butchered meat, to all five members of a five member family and many things in between.

I'm been riding a little Honda 110 Wave in this traffic for about 2 months now, and everyday I see something else unbelievable on the back of a motorbike. So, I've decided to start a new weekly feature here on HanoiJake. I'm going to try a post a photograph, every week of something unexpected on the back of a motorbike. Now keep in mind, this is no simple task. I usually see these spectaclar feats of motorbikesmanship while I'm actually driving, so I can't always just whip out a camera and start firing away. Lucky for us, I have a phone with a camera in it. (Nokia Plug, send me a better model please, I love Nokia) But, I still can't just bust out the phone and start firing. Although I see locals sending text messages while riding all the time, I'm pretty busy concentrating on the road and the other five thousand motorbikes swerving around me, so the task is still daunting. But, I've managed to get a few good pics so far, so I'll start you off with something pretty tame. And now, without further ado, I bring you..... MotoFoto