In high school I made a playlist of my top ten songs to listen to when I needed a pick-me-up. Checking it now, I noticed there are 33 songs on it and one of them is a 17-minute-long concert. I have quite a few favorites.
Apartment hunting in HCMC feels much the same way. I have tabs upon tabs of Craigslist ads open and after visiting a few, I don’t think I could make a wrong decision about housing here, unless it involved the toy city in District 7.
With both, the important questions are aesthetic, personal, and completely subjective. Maybe it has to do with my lack of experience, but this surprised me. I think there’s still a part of my head that imagines the world is governed by some ethereal, objective checklist.
The more classes I teach and real life adventures I have, the less true this becomes. And I know this makes sense. I like songs because of the specific moments they bring me. Getting hired by the company with the right fit or finding just the Goldilocks-approved living space would of course be similar.
When I hear “Feels So Close,” I’m hiking through Spain in midday heat. “Murder in the City” is a twilit Baton Rouge night on someone’s mom’s couch. “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” is sitting five people in the front seat of a pickup truck flying down a back road with stars bright and scattered across the sky above us.
My all time favorite love song, hands down, no joking, is Wiz Khalifa’s masterpiece, “Roll Up.” I know this song is about drugs. It’s also about love, so shut up.
Leon Redbone’s version of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is great, but not the best. It’s a sweet song, perfect for front-porch-sitting and the lazy hours in a long distance relationship. “God Only Knows” takes the prize for best loud sing-along while crying. “I Don’t Know,” by Lisa Hannigan epitomizes uncertain crushes.
But “Roll Up” has this brash energy. Wiz doesn’t care that this woman has a man, because this dude isn’t “acting right.”
He’ll roll up no matter what the situation. But only if she wants him there because he cares about consent.
He also says very explicitly that he’d like to be best friends. And if that’s not love, then come on, what’s the use?
I’m learning to apply Wiz’s philosophy to my own everyday routine. He supports this girl because they both want it, and that’s what matters. I moved to HCMC for quite a few reasons — the city wants me here to fill the native English speaker need and I want to be here to learn about a different part of the world.
Seems like a subjective win-win to me.