Moving to Dubai
I could be moving – but I am not.
Based on the recommendation of a good friend and respected educator, I was offered an opportunity to pack my bags and move to Dubai to assume a college presidency!
The job pays well; includes the perks of health care, car, nice villa, and all the funding needed to advance a liberal arts college agenda in an exciting part of the world filled with expats, high rises, shopping malls, arts, air conditioning and near an expansive beachfront!
So, after being flattered I emphatically and quickly said “NO”. I already have expats, high rises and shopping malls (although I do not spend much time with them or in them) here in Vietnam.
The temptation lasted a mili-second and while I thought about the tax-free income I came to the realization I have had a great career – with its commensurate ups and downs (higher education has more politics than politics and enough egos to fill a psychiatrists stadium), made a more than decent salary, and accomplished a great deal in resuscitating a couple US colleges and universities, transforming them, and now creating one in Vietnam.
The decision NOT to go to Dubai was not just based on some of the negatives of Dubai as I saw them (it is not instructive to list them) but on the many POSITIVES of Vietnam.
I have grown to love Vietnam. Friendly people, a spirit of entrepreneurship, a joy for living, amazing scenery, incredible progress, a multitude of faiths, lifestyles, cultures, a rich and real history that is long and deep, incredible and affordable food, first class conveniences, optimism, and still the freedom to explore and live and let live.
I moan (as does everyone else) about corruption, the government, conflicting and confusing rules on what is allowed and not allowed, traffic, inefficiencies, urbanization, and the like but when confronted with the choice of going to Dubai or staying in Vietnam it was a quick, easy decision. There is no place like home (or one of my homes)