Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Singapore

Trip Start Dec 31, 2006
Trip End Jan 17, 2007

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Well, it was a wonderful trip. If only I had more time in Vietnam. 2 weeks is just not enough. But regardless, the mission was accomplished and Teale and I got great footage.  I hope to come back to VN soon. After spending time in the North, I find Hanoi to be much safer. There's nothing like a good iron fist to clamp down on crime. I'm not sure exactly where I'd want to live now if I came back to teach film courses. Both North and South are enticing. When I came to Vietnam 9 yrs ago, Hue (Central VN) was my favorite. Each part of the country is beautiful and has so much to offer. Regardless, which one I'll arrive at, I can't wait to come back.

We flew to Singapore where we had a 6hr layover. My friend Alicia Muller, who I've know for almost 8 years, is living and working there. Alicia, originally raised in Holland, Amsterdam, was a TV child actress in Holland. We met me in Appalachia in southwest Viriginia where she was a student at Viriginia Tech and where I was working nearby as a multimedia developer (before the dotcom bust) . She acted in scenes of a couple instructional interactive CD-ROMs I directed on sex education and one to help people with disabilities get jobs. Alicia has Asian descent, Malaysian and Chinese, and was partly motivated to live and work in Singapore at Lucas Arts Films to get in touch with her roots. She has a background in film production. Alicia was sweet enough to show us around town. Talk about a clean environment!

I didn't know, although diverse, how segregated and discriminatory the culture is in Singapore. The discrimination in Singapore is as follows:

Top of the chain: Whites
Honorary whites: Chinese
Lazy and pray all the time: Malaysians
Never to be trusted: Indians
House help: Indonesians

For such a financial mecca, they have a lot to learn socially.  

One of the most interesting buildings was this Durien (spikey Asian stinky fruit) building that served as a big performance hall. The architecture is amazing and I only wish NYC was so clean. They have big fines for littering.

I see Alicia maybe every four years or something. It's amazing how we've kept in touch since she has moved all over the globe since we last lived in the same town back in '98. It's nice to know I have friends on this side of the world. Thanks Alicia!!!
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