Saigon vs Little Saigon


Burger King near the heart of Little Saigon, Westminster, CA is now closed.

Burger King at Tan Son Nhut Airport is now opened.

Just one of the many striking contrasts e.g. scooters vs wheels nation.

Skin coffee vs alley coffee, homeless folks vs lottery-ticket sellers.

On and on. People in Saigon have a vague notion of what their fellow countrymen are doing in Little Saigon. They saw it on Music Video.

They heard it second-hand via tourists (often consisted of inflated tales of infidelity or gender role reversal). Entertainers have found inspiration and served as in-betweeners.

Instead of setting city folks against country folks, contemporary comedy focuses on overseas Vietnamese (Viet Kieu)  searching for suitable wives. Sometimes, with the help of  a matchmaker (equivalent of head hunter in the working world).

The cultural gap widens when the prospective groom is from Taiwan or Korea.

But it also exists with Viet Kieu, who grew up in N America or Europe.

He could use the chopsticks, speak a few lines of greeting “Chao Bac”, but he also works out at the gym and drinks Corona instead of Ken (Heineken).

If he chooses Mexican foods over Vietnamese, he definitely is from Little Saigon, and not Saigon.

Saigon now has cappuccino and espresso bars, while Little Saigon just wants to offer Cafe Sua Da and Rau Muong.

Someday, the twain shall meet at Starbucks.

For now, both like AE brand (XS size) and everyone loves Hollister.

California Dreaming still.

The strength of Little Saigon lies in its flexibility and fluidity (to and fro both worlds), while Saigon itself, is rooted in colonial French and rich history of openness and optimism.

One doesn’t spend much on room and board in Saigon. Just put on something hip, and hit the town.

Again, if they were to order Mexican, you can tell they are from Little Saigon.

Go Chipotle and Corona.

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