May 28, 2005
2:47 AM

Our flight arrived in Seattle at 3:30 PM as we were picked up by our host( Thai Nguyen) and headed to his home in Tacoma. The weekend traffic was already in motion and the record temperatures hit 94. To be honest, I didn't mind the heat, but hearing the locals talk about it so much made me realize this was a rare heat wave.

I started to get that feeling of excitement in my gut. Having no idea what to expect. As Thai described it, we were heading to the ghetto of Tacoma. But it was fine. Thai lived with his family. In fact, there were 11 people that lived there. Mom, Dad, four sisters, two neices, and 2 brothers. It seemed as if Thai's house was where all the kids would congregate to. There were at least 10 kids in Junior high or younger that lived around the neighborhood just hanging around.

Thai's mom spoke no English, so I tried to learn some words to impress her, but she couldn't understand my horribly pronounced Vietnamese. JIAO BEK(Means hello) was said with just a puzzled look. Oh well. Maybe not my future to be a translator for the Vietnamese. Thai's mom had been cooking all day and we were greeted Vietnamese Pho, Eggrolls, and BBQ. They lived across the street from a park, so I went with a bunch of neighborhood kids and played basketball. Wearing long pants, skate shoes, and a buttoned up shirt I still was able to dominate the court with my high level of play.

There were 3 other bands that played including one out of town band. They were all so kind to me. I feel so out of it as the truth that I am getting older is even more apparent when I have no idea who the bands are these days. I'm still stuck in the 7 SECONDS, BLACK FLAG era of punk. Ugghhh.. I need to have a more open mind and check out some of these younger bands. After the show, Thai's mom fed all the bands soup. I was still so full, but when the bowl was passed my way I ate some more. At 2 AM, most of Thai's siblings were still up along with their friends. It reminded me of my youth and the fun of a sleepover. His younger brother put up a tent in the backyard and camped out with his friends. YAY!! I did that too. FUN FUN

I got to really have a good conversation with Thai. I have a lot of respect for him and his family. The trials and tribulations of their lives coming to the US and seeing how hard his father works to make ends meet for his family is pretty inspiring. So that was nice to really get the chance to talk to somebody and feel as if they were comfortable sharing the most personal information. Well, I better get to sleep as my eye lids are getting heavy and it's late..
Be well.
Mike Park