28 June, 2018

Hodgepodge Beyond the Sea

...Beyond the South China Sea, to be specific.
Today I'm participating in the Wednesday Hodgepodge, which has a New Jersey theme on the homepage. I feel I need to clarify that because my answers may seem off-topic. If you'd care to join me in this blog-hop, click the link below the picture.
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1. Security or freedom? Can you have both? Explain.
Yes. I just moved from a country with tightly restricted freedoms, and I felt I had to look over my shoulder all the time, and speak in hushed tones just to state an opinion. Very oppressive. I feel much more secure when I am free to speak my mind and go where I want without showing my passport.

2. If you could visit any historical American site what would it be? Why?

Now that I live in Vietnam, I intend to take one of the "American War Tours" offered by certain tourism groups. Maybe the DMZ, if there's anything to that anymore. Also, the northernmost US military base from that war is just north of me, and I believe it is maintained as a museum of sorts. Probably all of that.
3. Free as a bird, free reign, be free of, free enterprise, free trip, walk away scot free, free for all...which 'free' phrase can best be applied to your life in recent days or weeks? Explain.

"Free as a bird" or "Free from the daily grind". I am not working right now, and although I'm slowly laying groundwork to start my own business, this tropical lifestyle suits me just fine! Even the work I do,or hope to do, will be done on my own time.

4. Something in your fridge that's red? Something in your house that's white? Something in your view that's blue?

Sting Soda. So help me, God, I love this stuff. It's strawberry, not cherry, and slightly tart.

All the bedding is white. Not my choice. We have a furnished apartment.

I look out the window at buildings painted shades of blue, green and yellow. It's such a sweet change from the grey of Beijing!

5. July 27th is National New Jersey Day. Have you ever visited The Garden State? If so where did you go? Are there diners where you live? Have you tried Taylor Pork Roll? Do you like to play Monopoly? Salt water taffy-yay or nay? How do you feel about shopping at the mall? Springsteen, Sinatra, or Bon Jovi-you have to pick one.

I HAVE visited the Garden State several times. When I lived in PA, one of my good friends was from there and we went to her parents' house one time. Then I lived in Delaware, and my best friend is from northern Jersey. We stayed with her folks once or twice on jaunts into NYC. Plus, because I was in Lewes, DE, I took the ferry over to Cape May several times. That's a cute resort town. 

No American-style diners here in DaNang that I know of, but many corner restaurants, inside and out. Never heard of Taylor Pork Roll, and I don't eat pork anyway. I think the last time I played Monopoly was when I was stranded in a snowstorm in New Hampshire, maybe 10 years ago? I'm not great at Monopoly. I'm not cutthroat enough.

I can take or leave Salt water taffy, but I often took it as gifts when visiting the midwest. If it's around, I'll eat it, but I don't love it.

Not a fan of malls, but in Asian cities, they make it convenient for us expats!

I gotta pick Bon Jovi. After all, I'm Livin' on a Prayer!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

There will be no Hodgepodge next week on the 4th. That makes me think of July 4ths as an American expat. When I was a kid in Sri Lanka, the US consulate or embassy (I can't remember if we had an embassy there back then) would host a big, traditional cookout with hotdogs, hamburgers, Budweiser and Coke - all luxuries. They'd have a fireworks display after dark.
As a teen in Taiwan, there would usually be some get together with other expats, but I don't recall fireworks.
The last two 4ths, in Beijing - nothing. It's just a day on the calendar.
Here in Da Nang, by coincidence the finale of the International Fireworks Festival will be this Saturday. I will count that my 4th of July celebration for this year!
The Fireworks Festival, as seen from the rooftop terrace of our building.


  1. Red,

    I enjoyed reading your responses. I couldn't imagine what it's like to live in Beijing or any other tightly government controlled country. You're really quite the world traveler judging by your random answer. I loved your mewsician selection and song title, good one! :) I'd say the firework shows in that part of the world are pretty amazing. I haven't been to a live display in years. It's a bit too loud to suit us, so watching the shows aired on TV is almost as good. That's a stretch, I know but it's good enough for us. :) Happy 4th to you and have a good week!!

    1. I have seen a wide variety of fireworks shows, but the best were sitting on a beach in Delaware and seeing them in different towns along the coast, or even across the bay in New Jersey, if I was sitting on the bay!

  2. I've been to New Jersey exactly one time. It was to go pick up the JEEP that I had bought on eBay. I flew it, grabbed it and then drove out. Can't really say I experienced NJ at all.

    1. People on both coasts call the middle of the country "fly-over states", but for those of us who don't have business or family in their states, they often become "drive-through" states.

  3. Every time I read your blog, I am amazed at all the places you have lived!

    1. Of course, most of my adult life was in the US, but now that I'm back overseas, my old childhood experiences come to mind a lot.

  4. That's quite a hodgepodge which is fitting since your life is a hodgepodge of different places you've lived. It's almost as though you collect habitations the way some people collect garden gnomes.
    Enjoy the fireworks!

    1. I had more than 20 consecutive years in the US, though. Of course, that was spread across 4 states. You may be right.

  5. When we were in Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh City, our friends took a tour of the underground tunnels the Viet Cong used during the war. Richard and I opted out as he didn't like being underground. They found it a fascinating tour.

    1. I've never heard of that tour! If/when we get down to Ho Chi Minh, I'm sure Brett would do the tour. He loves tunnels and caves.

  6. That reminds me of a joke. Do they have a 4th of July in Great Britan? Because everyone has a 4th of July. It's only celebrated as a holiday in the US.

    1. Since moving overseas, I've taken to calling it Independence Day. The Chinese equivalent is their "National Day", when they all get a whole week off!


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.