a return to writing. blogging. wrogging?

It’s 11:07am. I’ve just arrived home from teaching my morning periods at school. On the way home, I bought a sizeable portion of cơm tấm and have already unpacked it on to a large plate. It’s my go-to lunch. I see a strand of hair in it and pull it out slowly. It’s too long to be mine. Within moments, I’m shovelling back rice while cải lương is being blasted from my neighbour’s. I’m taking short breaks from eating to get in breaths of air and type out a few words for this new blog post.

I’m anxious to write today. It’s an important day and arguably a turning point in my life. Today, I am alone. Truly and utterly alone.

“Wow, Alex. You’re being pretty vague and quite the Debbie Downer. And a TURNING POINT IN YOUR LIFE? Enough hyperbole, doofus.” Well, internet, lemme apply a generous (unnecessary?) amount of sriracha (cock) sauce to my lunch and then I’ll explain myself.

This morning, at the crack of dawn, I took Rosie to the Tan Son Nhat airport and saw her off. Rosie is now blazing through the sky at breakneck speeds en route to Manila where she will have a 7 hour layover before continuing on back to the true north strong and free (that’s Canada for you non-Canadians). After basically a year of Rosie and I working, living, eating, and doing everything together, she has now begun her trip home to pursue her Master’s degree and any other personal goals. I remain here in Saigon with no timetable for returning. I don’t know when I will return to Toronto, and if I do, it’s likely for a short visit before I attempt to take off again.


Here’s a group of us after some pickup ultimate frisbee. A last hurrah of sorts for Rosie.

ImageHere’s us again before Rosie left.

Mmm, the ringing sensation on the corners of my mouth suggest that I went overboard with the cock sauce. Goddamnit, I never learn.

It’s a weird feeling when you spend almost every waking moment with someone and then suddenly they’re gone and you don’t know when the both of you will get a chance to see each other again in person. It’s almost a crippling feeling. It was on my cab ride back from the airport when I realised right then that I was alone. Utterly alone. And not just alone but lonely. That’s the worst. Being alone comes with its own benefits and sometimes peace of mind. Being lonely is different; it’s the sense of wanting something or someone or missing something or someone.

So there you have it, internet. That is why I’m now alone. That is why I feel this will be a turning point in my life. I honestly do feel that I am moving on to another stage in life, whether I like it or not. And as much as it sucks now, I have to look at the advantages and seize the opportunities of being alone. Like I said, it’s not bad being alone. For example, when I travelled to Hong Kong alone, I was able to stand on a dirty street corner for what felt like 20 minutes just to get a particular picture shot and video footage filmed. When I’m with someone, I am less likely to ask the person or people with me to accommodate my weird impulse to do things like this. Not everyone would have the patience to watch me get fixated on something, and I get that. But being alone does allow me to have these opportunities. My calendar and the priorities that clutter it instantly become strictly my own and adhere to no one else.


Here’s a picture of just me by the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It’s suppose to symbolize me being alone from now on.

So what is with the post’s title? Why a return to writing and blogging? Well evidently, I haven’t been writing/blogging my adventures abroad as much as I had intended to back before I left Toronto. Having someone there with you all the time is nice in that you can always vent your ideas, thoughts, rants, or whatever to them. Now that I don’t have Rosie around to hear me talk, I must find another outlet. I’m hoping I can let my streams of consciousness flow from my noggin, course its way down my arms and exit from my fingertips on to the keys of my Macbook. I also always have an ideas book nearby to write things down but I do like the organisation of a blog.

So that’s that for now. I guess this post has been a bit depressing. But things’ll sort themselves out. Oh, I did start a side-blog a few days ago. It revolves around my interaction with students at school and the content is born from the answers, notes, or responses I get from my students. For those who are following this and want to take a peep at the side-blog, check out a canuck teaching English abroad. I know, the title sucks, but it’s a working title.

There’s a few bites of rice left that look awfully bare of sriracha sauce. I’m gonna fix that.

Until next time.


2 thoughts on “a return to writing. blogging. wrogging?

  1. “if you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone.”
    ― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

    Alex, in all honesty I’m a little drunk. I came home tonight unprepared to pen my thoughts into a blog. But, after reading what you wrote I feel incline to air my opinions about your situation. (From one writer to another I hope you understand language that I present to you. I don’t want you to misconstrue my writing as pretentious or obnoxious,but as someone who has recently been inspired by another, you.) I cannot fully comprehend the situation that you are in, but I have experience feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and loss; and I do believe that it is all three emotions that you are feeling. I say this with such light heartiness that you might think it’s a satire or worse a cliche, but trust me when I say, “the pain’s only temporary it will pass.” You have a strong foundation here, friends, family, and most importantly opportunity. Opportunity to discovery Joy. Don’t confuse joy and happiness as one in the same. Happiness is something that is temporary,it might fade or it might last for a certain period, but joy is something that you establish through time through times of happiness and sorrow. This is the chance that you have to learn about yourself, what we consider individuality. Whether it includes or exclude Rosie in your life is something unpredictable. All I can say with certainty is that you have people that care about you, one of which is me 😀 I hope you don’t feel reserve to send me a message for a beer or two or ten whenever you are free because I would truly enjoy your company. I hope you don’t find this to be a poor attempt to gain your friendship, but a minuscule attempt to cheer you up through the medium of words.


  2. Jimmy, not at all, pal. Thanks for your thoughts.

    The post did come off a bit more depressing than I intended. I was trying to look at the idea of being alone and what that means and how I could use it. Being alone and lonely can be two different things, and yeah I’m a bit lonely now but that’ll come and go in time.

    Thanks again, it means a ton. I will give you a shout for multiple beers. Not at Apocalypse though….

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