Thursday, December 23, 2004

Fat kids in Vietnam

There are fat kids in Vietnam. It's incredible. Surrounded by a sea of countries with poor, malnourished and poorly medicated kids, Vietnam has fat, chubby children walking around enjoying their parents love and ice-cream. It's a great thing to see, not because I can identify with them (as a minority group, us generously girthed people need to look out for each other) but because it shows the affluence that Vietnam is starting to experience.

Thirty years ago, this place was dirt poor. By the end of the war it was a horrible, unhealthy place to live. Agent Orange created a large pool of new-borns with serious deformities, and health care was third world. Nowadays, Vietnam (or at least Saigon, which is all I have had a chance to see so far) is a place that is thriving economically, and opportunities abound for someone with the right attitude. The combination of western lifestyles, decent health care, and a trend toward parents having fewer children and paying them more attention has led to Vietnamese porkers waddling through the streets of Saigon. It's great to see.

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