Tay Ba Lo’ing Through Viet Nam 2.0

In the old days before youtube, vimeo, HD DSLRs and iMovie, you (and by you I mean European tourist with a big ass bag travelling through Asia) would pass through Viet Nam and be done with it. What happens in Viet Nam stays in Viet Nam. These Tay Ba Lo’s, which translates to Westerner with a big ass bag, would be everywhere and anywhere. Bangkok, Hanoi, Hong Kong. Passing through. Sometimes they were good folks, sometimes they were assholes, but mostly they were Australian. So why am I blabbering on about these folks? Cause I don’t think I’ve ever really enjoyed their presence in any of the countries I’ve ever been too. They were always drinking way to much, or not understanding something someone was saying, bargaining 2 cents off something worth 50 cents, or taking pictures of people without their permission. And now, with the invention of DSLRs that take some sick ass HD video and vimeo, followed up by a Macbook with iMovie installed, everyone can be Francis Ford Coppola filming the infamous Me Love You scene in Apocalypse Now. Which means this whole blog post is a very long explanation of why I’m part mesmerized and part annoyed by this video:

If your first thought while watching that video were any of the following:

  • Oh shit those girls are HOT!
  • Oh shit that food looks good!
  • Oh shit that shit is exotic!
  • Oh shit, that song is straight out of a Gilles Peterson compilation!
Then you’re most likely the 80% of the view count who don’t really understand what Asia really is about. Maybe its because I’m old or I’ve lost the flame to care enough to get angry. But mostly I just think its because I’m going to be doing the same thing in Scandinavia this year, so maybe you can call it reverse racism or a payback for Colonialism. I’ll probably even lay a sweet Sigur Ros track on my video and take some nice candid shots of blue eyed/blonde haired girls eating fermented shark. revenge.
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