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Living in a theme park

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Expatriates real life in a tropical global city

The experience of an amusement park is that of its hedonistic enjoyment, linked to the exaltation of pleasures and sensations, sounds and smells with a short time horizon, therefore linked to the maximization of sensory, emotional and erotic experiences in the shortest time available, allowed by the payment of the entrance ticket and usually within one or two days.

Living in an amusement city or "Theme Park City" refers not only to the individual individual experience - each of us can live any city in the world with an individual amusement park attitude, that is, enjoying hedonistically between pleasures and sensations in an unrestrained way -, rather than the constitutive dimension of many global cities and in developing countries of South East Asia, including Saigon, in which the cosmopolitan and uprooted citizen finds himself despite himself to live there in the face of undoubted professional opportunities.

The first story I would like to tell you is that of the Western stateless citizen - be it Italian or European - of the global tropical city.

He wakes up in his rented apartment, in a city with a tropical climate, warm and humid, certainly not suited to his physiognomy and appearance. He spends his days between one office and another, in search of ever higher salaries, which, however, do not include the exorbitant health and education costs that the only onerous private manager can guarantee, at least with a European quality standard.

In the whirling and polluted traffic, without rules - which after 13 years still fails to make its own -, we ask the reason for its existence in a context that does not belong to it. The search for a park or urban collective facilities and equipment, as they were experienced in its youth in Italian or European cities, is only a distant mirage.

His family, like his closest friends and relatives, as well as his dearest places, are very distant, in his native country rarely accessible only once or twice a year - if it goes well - and with the reluctant to live a life uprooted and temporary, flexible and suspended in the emptiness of globalization that seems to give only apparently more economic opportunities and higher salaries to the masses of today's middle classes and professionals (including the writer).

A city that does drugs, offering hospitality appearances built around shopping centers, luxury restaurants, bars and nightclubs, elite clubs and privileged schools. A bubble in which he is forced, more or less consciously, to live.

Conversely, I will now tell you another story. That of a citizen of a local community, even before a nation. A citizen who, in a rural and mountain context, has built his family and professional life, albeit with initial difficulties linked to less economic and urban development (if we refer to professional practices and services in this sector). A context with a solidarity and cooperative economy, rather than a competitive and ultra-capitalist one.

In this territory, he feels rooted, has a house of property, lives in contact with nature and feels part of a community, embracing culture and values ​​and promoting it in a future and collective project. It is in contact with the "old people of the mountains" who keep stories, traditions and local cultures: he spends his life physically and morally supporting his parents and spending much time with them, helping them when and where he can in their everyday routine.

Breathe the air and the atmosphere of the woods and nature. Bring your children to experience contact with it. Despite the much higher taxation of its work, it benefits from public utility services such as schools, hospitals, bookstores and social centers, thanks to the welfare state system and the social rights that still hold in your country. The city theme park inceve is the maximum expression of the stateless and neoliberal culture made with a global urban system. It is a method of destruction of personal and collective identities, it is the drug for the new globalized professional middle classes in their unsustainable urban and social bubble because it is not really designed with a long-term horizon.

A long-term horizon, that is, a commitment to social and political participation in the community in which one's city is lived and which makes citizens to all effects and not merely temporary beneficiaries of the wonders of the amusement park made in the city.

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