Immigration Officer Second, Zombie Fan First.

So Mrs. Jiwaku and I have been in Saigon a little more than a week now. A million things have been happening, but the funniest and most blog-worthy at the moment was what happened at the Immigration desk, after I got my visa stamp and just before we exited out into the airport proper to be greeted by our friends Nick and Chris.

Mrs. Jiwaku went first, and the immigration officer had nothing much to say to her–he just looked at her for a moment, fiddled with her passport, and stamped it.

But then I stepped forward. I happened to be wearing my T-shirt with this image on the front:


… which is why the immigration guy didn’t just give me a look, fiddle with my passport, and stamp it. Instead, he struck up a conversation.

“You like zombie!”

I thought for a moment he meant I looked like a zombie, which would make sense: our flight had been delayed in the ridiculous Guangzhou airport–an unheated mess where a bottle of water costs the same as a cup of coffee (about $8 US)–and I was feeling a bit like a zombie.

But then I realized he was looking at my shirt. He followed up with, “The Walking Dead! You like it?”

“The TV show?” I asked him.

He nodded, the excitement clear on his face. This, the only immigration officer in the Ho Chi Minh City airport at 5:00 in the morning. “Season 3! You watch?”

Yes, he wanted to know what the last episode  I’d seen was. He wanted to know whether I’d seen Seasons 1 and 2. He even alerted me to the fact that  new episodes would be starting that Thursday, and coming out every Thursday subsequent.

And he was so excited to talk to someone whom I suppose he felt was one of his tribe.

That man was a zombie-fan first, and government officer second. Not that he didn’t do his job or something… he did. But this dude was all about the living dead. Funny stuff, and probably the best way to end our trip out of Korea…

As for Saigon? It’s hot and sunny. I’m still learning the city, adjusting to the climate, getting used our new situation.

I’ll say more about all that another time, though. Because this post? It’s all about the guy who was all about the zombies.

7 thoughts on “Immigration Officer Second, Zombie Fan First.

  1. That’s awesome! The immigration people here can be pretty cold and daunting, but some of them will let the veneer drop (especially when we have our kid with us!), and that’s always fun.

    A couple of my friends have taught them English (they have a contract with my school), though evidently a lot of the “teaching” is them taking the teacher out to drink Johnny Walker or Hennessy!

    1. Ha, “teaching” meaning going out for drinks… that sounds very familiar from my earliest experiences in Korea. It was pretty hilarious. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the guy who stamped my passport might have been quicker if I’d been wearing a Buffy T-shirt, or BSG, or Mad Men…

  2. I was expecting to hear yet another eye-roll inducing tale of discrimination, and was pleasantly surprised. That is all kinds of awesome. I love it when you’re able to click like this over obscure stuff with people you’d least expect it from. My boyfriend and I first clicked over a quote from “The Call of Cthulhu” I had as my desktop image.

    1. Ha, yeah, this was kinda cool, and definitely unexpected.

      What was the Lovecraft quote?

      (By the way, I’ve seen your replies on your blog, and will reply soonish, but am trying to get a big chunk of a Lovecraftian film script finished today!)

      1. The opening paragraph:
        “We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. […] Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightening position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

        Oh please, no pressure. Good luck on the script~ :)

        1. Ha, an excellent paragraph it is…

          No worries, I wasn’t feeling pressured… by your post, anyway: but the script, a little different. I’ve cranked out 17 pages so far today of the 20 I’d set a a goal, and must do three more before bed… which should be doable since bedtime is hours away, but in fact it’s becoming more difficult the closer I get to the horrifying climax!

          But hey, 17 pages ain’t bad. :)

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