Celebrity in Vietnam
It sounds conceited when I say this, but I am a superstar out here. The people absolutely love me here. We’ve been helping the people and the kids out here and even though they’re here for the medicine, they’re getting a special treat because they are getting to see someone like me. A big guy like me isn’t common out here. I’m told that many of these people have never seen someone of my size and more than likely never will again.
When I hear something like that and after experiencing the genuine admiration from both children and adults, it’s truly humbling to me. I’ve heard that people out here would love me but I just brushed it off because of the environment that I was raised in, where being fat was always looked down upon.
Although it is flattering with this extra attention, it could be for the wrong reasons. Perhaps the Vietnamese think I am wealthy and am doing well for myself if I am able to have the luxury of being able to get big this. But they don’t know the circumstances and I don’t even think they would be able to grasp that I am not wealthy where I come from. I live on student loans in order to survive. I probably won’t make enough money to survive comfortably until well after I am done with school.
Even though I am a rock star out here, it is under false pretenses. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the attention. I love the fact that I am able to bring a smile to kids’ faces. I just stand there and they smile or laugh. My friends back home won’t be able to relate to the fact that I have been offered several girls to marry since I arrived. It’s eye-opening to see people offer their daughters to a complete stranger that they’ve only seen for a minute.
I will be doing all that I can to help bring a smile to peoples’ faces, even if it means letting them poke or grab me just to see if I am real; or if it means for me to just stand there and play with kids. While it’s not much, I think a smile out here can get someone very far.