Saigon Tai Tai

December 9, 2006, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Life, Uncategorized

My cousin told me, the abject poor abounds in Vietnam. I didn’t believe her.  Yes, some stay in squalid huts, a single room for a family, push carts and labour for a few dong. But in each hut there is running water, a colour TV and children going to school.  I was adamant (because i had seen abject poverty in other Southeast Asian countries and they truly had nothing).

But for the past few months i battled cats digging in my trash and tearing apart the plastic bags that held these treasures. It was ok, trying to stuff back my own mucky trash into a new bag each time (otherwise the garbage collectors refuse to dispose of my garbage).

But i had had enough after a month. I decided to place the garbage bags in a closed bin. Then the neighbours pointed out – these bins will most certainly be stolen. It is only now, after another month that i have realised its not cats! People are helping themselves to my garbage.

Is there something i throw that can still be of value? How much do i consume or rather not consume that other people seem to want so much of? Have i gotten so used to consuming that i have forgotten how much i discard that others could use? What wealth and what desperation…. Today they took away a leaking tap we had replaced…they even take the plastic bags that carry my goods!

PS: I just wish i could set up shop instead rather than have to repack my garbage each time.


Views of Saigon through the eyes of the Saigon Tai Tai
May 13, 2006, 8:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Saigon Tai Tai views the city through a glass window. It is the glass window of the posh car, tinted to protect her against the scorching sun of Vietnam; the window that keeps away the dust and grit of the city. The blur of the car's speed hides the details of the streets – the motorbikes, laden with families and goods; the street side stalls where the ordinary Saigonese squats to eat and drink; the sidewalk chatter that spills onto the streets between bikers; the flavours and scents of the day and the night. So the Saigon Tai Tai rolls up the window and through the tinted glass sees only the monochrome of life.

a day in the life….
April 25, 2006, 2:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

being a tai-tai comes with many responsibilities. the first is having to explain what one does… one/ creating blogs… two/ trying hard to insert images of the idyllic life of a tai-tai but failing (both for lack of pictures and of skill). but tai-tai's aren't after all expected to be photographers nor skillful IT programmers? What with being in Saigon and all…