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March 11, 2008

Local kid digs to China

Whoa? A foreigner?I kid, I kid. This week, an expatriate launches a hostile takeover of my column.Johnny Siegel, who writes us from China, where he’s relocated from Sydney, where he relocated from New York, and before that, New Orleans.At this point, he should add world traveler to his list of professions. Enjoy. —Mat HerronAfter living the first 28 years of my life in only two places (the ’Ville and New Orleans), I’ve managed to pack three new cities, each encompassing new countries and continents, into only two years.So I can only attribute a recent conversation between my wife and me to head-spinning delirium.“Let’s move to China,” she said. “OK, I’ll see if I can get a job there,” I responded, as though it was as easy as going to Kroger’s.Well, it was, actually.I scored a job promoting Western concerts with the guy who started Deer Creek (now Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Indianapolis), a place I’m sure many of you have made a pilgrimage to. And wham! I can now say, though it sounds incredibly strange, “I live in China.”Though I’ve called New Orleans, New York, Sydney and now Shanghai home, I continually get applauded by my international crew of friends for my constant homage to my real home. I always have some sort of Kentucky T-shirt or hoodie on (thanks Why Louisville), or I’m always pushing new friends to listen to a Louisville band.Not to mention bourbon, horse racing and Southern cooking.I’ve even taunted Ashley Judd in a New Orleans bar with a “C-A-R-D-S, go Cards go,” cheer.She loved it and bought me shots! So after years of bringing Kentucky to the world, I’d like to bring some of the world back home.No, I’m not starting a bootleg DVD operation. (Note to self: Maybe I should start a bootleg DVD operation).I just ask that you indulge me in a little cultural exchange of sorts.Johnny Siegel is a musician and Louisville native who lives in Shanghai, China. Contact him at leo@leoweekly.com