HCMC Dining Guide

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Act Two

My American visit ends today. I'll be back in Vietnam for the second act of my time there on Thursday, after layovers in Los Angeles and Seoul, and I'd like to take this chance to discuss what's on tap for my next stint on the other side of the world.

To begin with: I have no idea how long I'm going for. People keep asking if I'm going for another year, and the simple answer to that is, "I don't know". I've enjoyed my month in the U.S., and I will obviously miss home, but there are no jobs to be had. Plus, the mood of the country is just depressing; too many people are pessimistic, paranoid, and divided.

In Vietnam, on the other hand, business is booming (inflation issues aside), and opportunities come fast and furious. I find it depressingly ironic that, for the last century, America has been seen as the Land of Opportunity by millions of foreigners. Today, however, it is far easier for Americans to find jobs overseas than in the country of their birth.

I have experienced this firsthand, which is one reason I am so excited about going back. I'm going to be switching gears professionally, thanks to an amazing gig that popped up a couple of weeks before I left for the U.S. As I mentioned a few posts back, I am now pursuing a writing career. I've been a writing intern (unpaid, unfortunately) at AsiaLIFE magazine for about two months now. AsiaLIFE is one of the two prominent English-language mags in Saigon. I've now had an article in each of the last two issues, and I'll have even more in the upcoming ones. All I did to land this job was e-mail the Australian editor with a couple of story ideas, and we went from there. No sending resumes, no formal interviews, no cut-throat competition. My goal for this year is to get a position on the paid staff. Check out AsiaLIFE's website here: http://www.asialifehcmc.com/. Every monthly issue is uploaded as a PDF. (My piece in the latest one starts on page 15.)

Of course, I will still be teaching, since I do need to make some money. There will be change in this, too, since I left the language center I had been at since last year to move to one of the best centers in the city. So, fear not, there will still be occasional posts about the joys (and pitfalls) of teaching.

In addition to the scenery changes in act two of this unfinished play, there will be casting changes as well. The days before I left for the U.S. witnessed a spate of permanent departures from my group, and there will surely be new faces to meet when I get back. One of my good friends from college will be moving into my house in a few weeks to replace the hole that hasn't really been filled since one of my first friends from Cambodia left the place, and the country, in June.

Given all of these changes, the next few months should be quite exciting. As always, I will constantly be looking for chances to travel. In fact, I already have a trip to northern Vietnam booked for early October, and I hope to visit Laos and Indonesia next year. I hope you continue to follow this page, as I strive to keep it as informative and entertaining as I have for the past year.

Now, without further ado, lights, camera, action...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Michael,

    My name is Lindsay and I discovered your blog through Pass the Fish Sauce. I have already gotten in touch with her but wouldn't mind getting in contact with someone else I could potentially meet in the next few months! Yes, I will be leaving Chicago on Oct 12 for Phnom Penh and then onto Ho Chi Minh City to be certified to teach English!

    If you have time it'd be great to chat with you. My e-mail is lcliden@gmail.com. I really enjoy reading your blog and hope to hear from you!

    I wish you safe travels back to Vietnam!