As I get my stuff together (and studiously avoid having to deal with iMovie this evening!), I thought I would start out our trip back to Laos with the 1966 U.S. Embassy Post Report for Vientiane, Laos. The times they have a’changed a tad, so those of you from an earlier generation will probably be even more amused than I am.
I started writing this post with an eye toward excerpting some of the more humourous, ironic, or just downright out-dated sections of the Report, highlighted by acerbic and pithy observations.
Then I got to the housing section and determined that I just can’t improve on perfection.
I give you, then, the 1966 U.S. Embassy Post Report for Vientiane, Laos.
Bear in mind (those of you who didn’t have the privilege of living in Vientiane at this time—and I mean that sincerely) that this was the same posting about which Noam Chomsky wrote, “An American can live in the suburbs, complete with well-tended lawns, or in a pleasant villa rented from a rich Laotian, and can commute to the huge USAID compound with its PX and other facilities.”((Noam Chomsky, Special Supplement: A Visit to Laos, The New York Review of Books, Volume 15, Number 2 · July 23, 1970, available at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/10894 (visited March 2, 2015))
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: “American-style suburbs, my ass!”
[NB: As always, please do let me know in the comments if you have any issues opening and/or viewing this document. I am new to this platform, and I count on you to help me troubleshoot!! Kim]
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