16. In the Time of Corona

Vietnam has a record of remarkable success against COVID-19, which has ravaged much of the rest of the world.

12. No Thanksgiving? No problem

Where does an expatriate eat Thanksgiving dinner when it’s being served half a world away? … It’s Thanksgiving week back in the United States, my home country. I have indelible memories of family feasting — of roast turkey, its juices locked in by its crispy skin; of moist stuffing and mashed potatoes with savory gravy;Continue reading “12. No Thanksgiving? No problem”

11. Going with the phở

No Vietnamese food is better known than the beef-noodle soup called phở. Served everywhere in Vietnam and in restaurants around the world, phở is the ultimate comfort food. It may be found from street stalls to fine-dining restaurants, and it’s as ubiquitous in households as the tomato soup or chicken broth your mother made whenContinue reading “11. Going with the phở”

9. My brilliant (acting) career

Having once appeared in a school play, I decided to explore a career in acting. The audition went smoothly, and then … The ad was simple enough. A production company was auditioning English-speaking actors (no experience necessary) to appear in a promotional video for an international financial firm. Announced on a website directed at expatriatesContinue reading “9. My brilliant (acting) career”

8. An appetite for Chiang Mai

An all-day lesson at a northern Thai cooking school is followed by a late-night romp with the Midnight Ramblers, a regionally renowned cover band. … A big part of travel for me is always the food. I have loved Thai food for as long as I can remember. In recent years, inspired by chefs likeContinue reading “8. An appetite for Chiang Mai”

7. Chiang Mai, city of temples

Ancient tradition collides with modern tourism on a “visa run” to northern Thailand. If I lived here, I would no doubt be a Buddhist.  … From the time I first ventured into Thailand at the age of 26, I had been hearing rapturous recommendations about travel to Chiang Mai, in the country’s far north. MetropolitanContinue reading “7. Chiang Mai, city of temples”

2. Making the move

It wasn’t easy to make a major life change at the age of 69. Perseverence, inspiration and the knowledge of veteran Asian expatriates helped to make possible the jump to Vietnam. … I began exploring my options, casting long glances at Asia. My girlfriend of many years, Barb, wasn’t interested. Not only had she hadContinue reading “2. Making the move”

1. A new beginning

What in the world might have inspired this stunning, late-in-life adventure? John’s first installment explains what brought him to Vietnam. My birthday is almost here again. That means I’ve been nearly a year in Vietnam, a tropical Southeast Asian country that, half a century ago, I did everything I could to avoid. Of course, lookingContinue reading “1. A new beginning”