Two months in retrospect

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Stephen Howard Deitz defined pop music when he said "I don’t like composers who think. It gets in the way of their plagiarism."

1 events

facebook (feed #2)
Stephen Howard Deitz defined pop music when he said "I don’t like composers who think. It gets in the way of their plagiarism."
Image by Rock Portrait Photography via Flickr

I’m waiting for my evening class and have an hour to kill, what is ed so it’s an ideal time to write another blog entry by phone.

It’s been just over 2 months since I arrived in Vietnam, and now is a good time to reflect on a few things.


Last time I traveled through Asia I was attacked by a nasty stomach bug. It took almost three months to get rid of it. Up until yesterday I have been in almost perfect health, with only one bad cold slowing me down not long after arrival.

Yesterday in class I started to get that familiar feeling of “Oh no!” with still a few hours remaining. I was able to eventually get home without much drama, but spent most of the night awake and uncomfortable. My initial thoughts were that I had drunk some bad water again, and I called in sick. Whilst VAS is able to easily find an ESL teacher at short notice, it is almost impossible for ICT, so I was forced to come in for the afternoon classes.
It was quite interesting to note that some of the students missed me that morning, even after only one day.

Fortunately, this scare has turned out to be food poisoning (probably from my last minute dregs of a meal yesterday) and I’m almost back to normal already – just weak from lack of food today.

The roads

After a few minor scares in the early days, I feel like something in me has clicked. Don’t get me wrong, I will never get blasé about riding on these roads, but I think I have finally figured out how they, and the traffic on them, work. I see things well before they happen, I can handle my own bike with ease now, and I feel in some way that I have morphed into just another droplet in the bike river.


I feel that I have adapted quickly and well to the role of a teacher, and with the strong ‘student-centric’ methodology of VAS starting to take effect, I believe I am now getting more out of the students and speaking less myself.

I’m thinking about how it came to this. If I so desire I can continue to work 50 hours a week, although I am going to wind down to about 30 if I can. With the cost of living here, I can do pretty much whatever I want, and theoretically still be able to pay half of an Australian mortgage (that theory is still to be tested).

It’s remarkable that I can earn a living beyond the reach of most locals (and some other ex-pat teachers), eat and live as well as or sometimes better than back home, and all without working for years in what is a completely new career to get to that stage.

I guess can thank the years of absorbing life skills gained from so many different experiences, a solid home & formal education, and I shouldn’t forget my own bravery to step outside my comfort zone.

So, two months gone, and it really is still very early days, but I feel very accomplished and of absolute worth to the students right now. I hope I continue to feel this way.

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