Hello all and welcome. I suspect most of you probably already know me and have an interest in what I am up to over here in Vietnam, and as such you may find what I write here to be worth reading as an end in itself. On the off chance that anyone reading this far does not know me personally, I hope that my forthcoming posts will be useful and entertaining to anyone who is interested in Vietnam, or considering teaching abroad, or just has too much time on their hands.
In any case, this blog will simply be a space for me to write about my experience here and let people know what and how I am doing. I cannot say how often I will post new content as I have yet to fall into a real routine here, but I hope to write new stuff at least once a week, and hopefully more. As many of you already know, I am a bit of a perfectionist with my writing, and I don't want to bore you all with the banal details of my day to day life. With that in mind, I will make an attempt to keep posts concise and thematically consistent, and avoid making this simply an online journal.
From time to time I will post pictures on this site, particularly to illustrate my entries, but I will be taking many more pictures than I will put up here. I plan to start some sort of web-based photo sharing thing for those who are really interested in seeing all the rest. More on that to come.
I named this blog Guns Before Butter because I wouldn't have named it anything if that were possible, but it wasn't. The name comes from a Gang of Four song, and is of course a reference to the dilemma of a society being forced to choose between investing in military and civilian products, or more simply, between defending and feeding its people. I'm not sure how this is related to my experience in Vietnam, but for some reason it was the first thing to come to mind when I had to think of a clever title, and it conjures (to me at least) vague notions of postcolonial realpolitik.