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Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Train station--Gorlitz










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3 comments:

Mark and Jolee said...

Great photos from Poland which I just got around to check out. Love the story of the Vietnamese restaurant owner.

Linh Dinh said...

Thanks, Mark and Jolee! The three towns I visited were close to the German border and were in fact German before 1945. I need to go deeper into Poland. In Zgorzelec, Welinieg and Luban, all of the older and more beautiful buildings were built by Germans, though most are in terrible shape through neglect during the Communist decades. Compared to Germany, there are many fewer restaurants. In Welinieg, I couldn't find a single open eatery or bar. Before Law and Justice came into power in late 2015, they charged that "Poland is in ruins, that Polish provincial districts are falling apart, and that children are starving in Poland." Now that they're in charge, they're muting these claims.

Linh

Linh Dinh said...

P.S. And Poles are leaving the country. There are between three and five million Poles in Germany, a million in France and nearly a million in England. Most of these are recent immigrants.

Unemployment is 9.6%, not great but not horrific, but wages are low, so people get out. Two hours from Zgorzelec, there's a Toyota plant. The Vietnamese restaurant owner told me of Japanese employees coming to his restaurant. One even translated his entire menu into Japanese.

Bar Orientalny Restauracja now has three foreign language menus, in German, English and Japanese. The Polish waitress gave me a German one. Though she has never left town, her English is fairly good.

Linh

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.