One of the Vietnamese people I met here asked a question I had a hard time answering, even though she spoke excellent English: why, she asked, did DC have so much crime?
Even with no language barrier, I found myself staring across a cultural gulf I couldn't bridge in the 45 minutes we had to eat lunch. I wanted to say, "they are poor". But that seems a ridiculous statement in a country of 85 million people who are nearly all living at a lower standard of material consumption than the poor of DC.
Megan McArdle from Hanoi.