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Apparently, back in 1946 when bolshing around Europe, Ho Chi Minh (Vietnamese Lenin) met Ben-Gurion (Israeli George Washington) and asked if he wanted to set up a Jewish state in Vietnam. Ben-Gurion said no thank you, he was still holding out for Palestine.

But imagine….

What if he’d said yes?

Fuck Nazis and Confederates, there’s an alternate history I’d like to see. 

It even makes a kinda bit of sense. If Ben-Gurion had thought there was no chance of outsing British in Palestine, maybe taking on the French (who’d had the stuffing kicked out of them in WW2) might have been more realistic. Maybe the Jews of Europe (most of whom were still sitting in what had been old concentration camps, waiting for something to happen) might have decided going to a country; where the local population thought antisemitism was a kind of nasty cold, sounded rather tempting.

But then what?

Would there have been like, some wild Viet-Jew united army against the French? Would the Jewish population have been okay with Vietnam being redder than the planet Mars? What the hell would China have thought? Would America have invaded? Would antisemitism be more common in the west, due to its association with communism?
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As I get older I’m finding that a lot of the “intellectuals” I used to admire are actually just condescending and pretentious. And also realizing how much more important it is to be present, considerate, and empathetic because nobody really knows what they’re talking about and anyone who claims to know everything about anything is feeding you bs.

“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”
- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

I am also realizing that actual intellectuals make their subjects easy to understand, and faux intelectuals will attempt to baffle.

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

- Albert Einstein

I teach younger kids. It’s amazing how much better you can think of subjects if you have to explain it in a way six to nine year olds can understand. Topics covered include:

Operation ULTRA in WW2 or, How a Computer Helped Win a War

The Refusal of the Japanese Government to Admit to War Crimes Against China (to be fair, they brought that one up)


Why the Teacher Nearly Choked on Her Tea When You Walked in Wearing a Swastika Badge (they are Chinese and it was from a Buddhist organisation).

Is Jesus Real?

Climate Change and How to Save Polar Bears
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Dear people of Vietnam,

Firstly, thank you for offering me the chance to work in your beautiful country. I have visited in the past and been impressed by your lovely countryside, friendly people, and peerless food culture. I am very much looking forward to working in historic Hanoi and hope not to offend with me rudimentary tieng Viet.

I also want to apologise in advance.

You see, unknown to you, offering me this position in your country means that you have opened yourself top a visit from Unit X- otherwise known as my father. Unit X has not had reason to visit Vietnam before, although he has always wanted to, however, with my present there he will redouble his efforts and I am sad to say he will probably succeed in arriving at some point next spring.

Despite it being nearly 12 months in advance, I feel such an interval is necessary to prepare you, the people of Vietnam, for what you are about to face.

Unit X does not know Vietnamese, he does not know much about the geography and landscape, he does not even appreciate your food culture.

He has, however, watched every Vietnam War movie currently in existence.

I am aware you do not know me, or Unit X. However, you will probably come to know him in his visit. His first words every morning will be ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ he will converse entirely in cliches about war being hell, napalm in the morning, and will constantly question your ability to surf.

I am deeply, deeply sorry for what you will be subjected to.

Please don’t declare war on France again.
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I’m going to miss all my kids demanding to be princesses so they can fight the dragon. ’Cause princesses have magic powers see? Much better than being boring old knights.

(thank you Disney for Frozen, thank you so, so much)

Alas, next time we will being doing the enchanted forest, and I will introduce them to the joys of being fairies with wings and magic, and they will team up with the good witch to save the unicorn from the giant.
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I am having so much fun with my 3-5 year olds it isn’t even funny.

So we were given the biggest load of patriarchal crap for our topic this month. Fairy tales is all well and good but when the pictures are just straight up ‘princess screams and needs to be rescued, knight fights dragon’, you know it isn’t going to wash with the Frozen generation.

(Thank you Disney for Queen Elsa. Thank you so much.)

So I’ve been giving my kids a choice. They can fight the dragon (Great Wyrm Red, aka me) as a knight with a sword (lv 20 paladin with sword of dragon slaying) or as a princess (wizard level 20 with ice meteor swarm). 

I’m getting a very satisfyingly gender mixed group choosing to be princesses so they can blast me with loud whooshing sounds. The dragon is doing a lot of screaming to help drill that vocabulary word.
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Guys? Particularly peeps in the UK and America? Your countries are getting… bad. Like, really really bad. As in unsafe. I know you want to stay and fight it out but it’s going to get worse before it can get better and… look-

If you have a degree and were educated in English speaking country or institution- that is literally all you need to be an EFL teacher. You can go anywhere you want and there are a LOT of better countries out there. The pay is pretty good too.

Many schools will forward your pay and may even compensate you for airfare. I have some connections here in Hong Kong.

Just… think about it.

October 2017

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