Re: [Iyer] "It's never too late to do nothing at all"

John Boyer (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 10:25:20 -0500

At 05:27 AM 6/7/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Or maybe I'm just bitchy because I want to know HOW he could have
>possibly run into YMCA in Pyongyang...

5 years ago, I spent a month in Vietnam, in the boonies of the An Giang
province, about 10 miles from the Cambodian border, right on the Mekong.
One day I was riding on the back of a motorcyle with my brother-in-law
driving. We were on our way to our daily tennis game. The tennis court is
on the edge of town, nestled between a dirt soccer field, a pig pen, and a
giant cesspool (into which the ballboys would wade to get a mishit ball).
The court itself was just a concrete slab with a steel cable stretched
between two posts, over which an old camo net was laid.
Anyway, as we got closer to the soccer field I heard a strange sound. It
was "Funky Cold Medina". What a surreal experience after a couple of weeks
of almost total culture immersion. Can one truly escape western culture?

Also, at six AM everyday there is a vietnamese broadcast of VOA. There was
no glass on any window, so the whole town would tune in and crank up their
shortwaves. It was strange waking up to the tune of "Yankee Doodle Dandy".