“A lighthearted memoir of new friends, delicious food, and culture shock . . . A brisk chronicle of a family’s (mis)adventures in Vietnam” (Kirkus Reviews).
During the 2008 recession, Karin Esterhammer was laid off from her job as a travel writer for the Los Angeles Times. No longer able to afford their comfortable lifestyle, she and her husband sold everything they had, rented out their house, and took their young autistic son to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. They thought that teaching English and living cheap for a year would help get them back on their feet.
Boy, were they wrong . . .
So Happiness to Meet You is the funny, inspiring, and eye-opening true account of one family’s quest to regain their financial footing while living anything but the high life. Esterhammer tells of her family’s trials, adventures, and victories in adapting to a foreign culture, overcoming the language barrier, and enduring the kind of heat and humidity that could drive a soul insane. She also paints an endearing portrait of neighbors who unabashedly stared into windows, kept cockroaches for luck, taught Karin how to shop and cook, and ultimately helped her find joy without Western trappings.
Full of love, laughter—and a surprising amount of barbecued rat—this is a “loopy adventure and charming cautionary tale for anyone who’s ever dreamed of packing it in and starting over somewhere new” (Mark Haskell Smith, author of Naked at Lunch and Baked).