Viet Nam Haiku V05

Custom officials –
Public servants and
Conmen in organized crime

03.17.15 – 05.30.15

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.

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Notes to this poem…

Please click here for the background to this haiku collection if you want to know more about it.

Being a public servant in Viet Nam is like getting your licence to bribe. Not everybody uses it, but some also abuse it. I saw and experienced it a handful of times while I was in Viet Nam, right from the moment I arrived at their airport where a guy told me my visa was not legitimate since it had the wrong year put on it. So instead of a 90 day visa, I had a year and 90 day visa, for which there was no such thing. But he wouldn’t let me see it after I had handed over my papers at the airport customs station. I acted innocent, like I didn’t know people put small bills in their passports to get through, or get through faster, talking like a kid that I was when I left the country 35 years ago. He eventually took my visa to some room with me in tow. Behind a window, he talked to some guy who put white out over the last digit of the year and wrote over it, like I tried to cheat! Then gave it back and let me go. It might have been a problem  on the way back, but I wasn’t going to think about it and let it ruin my state of mind for this life changing trip, so I forgot about it, and it was as little problem as that on the way out.

I also saw other bribery happening with my extended family there with local cops who held a cleaver over their lives essentially, even though they were all acting like good friends. It was like just keep treating me well and I won’t put you into trouble, said the cop.

It was all very disgusting and quite pathetic. Some of these officials even get sacked cause they don’t bring in enough for their bosses! It’s freaking conmen in organized crime!

But that’s enough of that for now. I’m outtta here!

Please click here to see all the haiku in this collection about Viet Nam.

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