US Student Visa Update for FY2022: That’s a Wrap!

This is a continuation of a post from 8 August 2022 that includes information for the entire fiscal year, i.e., from 10-1-21 to 9-30-22. The good news is that the Vietnam market for US-bound students is making a strong recovery in the new normal era. Student visa issuances are inching up to pre-pandemic levels. This … Continue reading US Student Visa Update for FY2022: That’s a Wrap!

“Graffiti is visual pollution, an eyesore Vietnam can do without”

Here's my latest essay for VNExpress International. Below is the unabridged version. Shalom (שלום), MAA Graffiti as Visual Pollution Graffiti vandalism as seen on walls of buildings in HCMC's District 1. Photo by MAA In addition to the usual types of pollution afflicting Vietnam and affecting our quality of life, including air, water, and noise (e.g., … Continue reading “Graffiti is visual pollution, an eyesore Vietnam can do without”

“The Lines” in Hưng Yên Province

Artist's Rendering of The Lines Mr. Thompson: (He's back!) Goddammit Carl, would you stop fighting this? People buy homes, let the government pay for the parks, thats why we have taxes. The Oaks at Mesa Vista is a money train. You want to be on it? (From You, Me, and Dupree) Under construction (Photo by … Continue reading “The Lines” in Hưng Yên Province

“The Empire” Strikes Back… at the Environment

Credit: Vinhomes I love the names of some condo buildings and developments here, e.g., The Authentic, The One, Zen. They're so pretentious and over-the-top. Some put a smile on my face while others make me want to cry and mourn the loss of agricultural land and the scenic beauty that is (was) Vietnam. Translation: The … Continue reading “The Empire” Strikes Back… at the Environment

The Transformation from the Old to the New Continues Unabated in Hanoi

This is a building that I've kept an eye on ever since I moved to Hanoi over 16 years ago. It was a pharmacy back in the day. It also happens to be located in the Hoan Kiem District, a short walk from the lake, one of the most expensive areas of the city. Don't … Continue reading The Transformation from the Old to the New Continues Unabated in Hanoi

The latest chapter in Vietnam’s valiant battle against the Delta variant

The good news is that most Vietnamese and expats are beginning to bask in the light at the end of tunnel. Hanoians getting exercise after the COVID-related restrictions were lifted in September 2021. Photo: Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times A revised and updated version of this article, originally published on 28.10.21 by CounterPunch, appeared in … Continue reading The latest chapter in Vietnam’s valiant battle against the Delta variant

VinWonders Vinpearl Safari: Fantasy or Reality?

Location of proposed VinWonders Vinpearl Safari on the outskirts of Hanoi. Here's what's behind Door #3, dear readers, as alluded to in a previous post. This is an example of things that go bump in the night in broad daylight, assuming this Frankensteinian project gets the green light. There are plans to build a VinWonders … Continue reading VinWonders Vinpearl Safari: Fantasy or Reality?

Parental Love Also Means Freedom From…

Caution! As seen in Hanoi traffic recently. A negative role model, i.e., what NOT to allow your children to do. Here are two possible consequences of this boy's "fun": 1) Inhaling polluted air, including carbon monoxide; and 2) Risk of injury or death in the event of a sudden stop or collision. Memo to Mommy … Continue reading Parental Love Also Means Freedom From…

Hà Nội in the Fourth Wave: A Heartfelt Wish & a Hopeful Prediction

Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the heart of Hà Nội during the lockdown. My hopeful prediction came true! Earlier this week, the lockdown ended, barricades were removed, and people were out and about. Like flipping a switch, Hanoi was back in business! We've returned to the crazy traffic that is the old normal. This capital city … Continue reading Hà Nội in the Fourth Wave: A Heartfelt Wish & a Hopeful Prediction