saigon, ups and downs.

by wynlim

So I am sitting in a cafe at Saigon, munching on some delicious vietnamese beef salad and drinking really good vietnamese coffee. The people here really take their coffee pretty seriously. I haven’t had a bad cup so far.

I wish that I was writing this in SF instead, but my planned journey ran into some issues, so instead of moping around in Singapore, I’ve decided to make use of the privilege of being in Asia by traveling around it for now.

It seems like there is a misconception that I am having a kick-ass life because I’m actively posting awesome food pictures on my social networks – I wish this was actually the case but in truth it would actually be much easier for me if I could stay settled in Singapore instead.

I am travelling, because I feel like my soul was slowly dying back in Singapore. This was the reason why I went to SF originally and I was hoping it would be different this time when I went back home in mid-october. 

It was not. 

If you ask me why, I can tell you it is because I am sensitive to energy and it is difficult for me to be in place whereby everyone’s anxious, competitive and stressed out, but then you would probably give me this strange look. It doesn’t matter anyway, whether it is psychological or physical. I don’t really have to give a believable account to anyone because nobody else is responsible for my own happiness except me. 

I am not willing to settle for less, or a less than happy me, so I decided that even if things did not go according to plan, then I should start making alternative plans. 

So here I am now at Saigon, potentially travelling down to Mui Ne, Nha Trang and Hoi An, depending on how my work situation unfolds. I don’t really know how to feel about Saigon yet but it still held small pleasant surprises for me such as the discovery of a cafe in some narrow alley like this:


Okay, I didn’t actually discover it myself, it was through Foursquare. Yes, Foursquare is actually being used quite a bit by the Vietnamese and I managed to find some decent recommendations from there. This is actually the first time I’ve actually found Foursquare useful – no hurt intended.

I am confused by Saigon, because the city feels quite tired at times, but in the middle of nowhere pops up a bubble of creativity like the cafe above. I am also partially amused by how I needed to learn to cross the roads despite the non-stop traffic. Partially because there were times I thought I was going to die in the middle of the road. 😛

Travel is my therapy, for it gives me a constant stream of new experiences, inspiration and a sense of wonderment. It is not all fairy-tale-like though, for I still get entrenched in moments whereby I question my existence. But being on the move makes it easier to snap out of it.

Being emotional is a blessing and a curse. It allows me to feel pure joy but it is the same quality that surrounds me with darkness at times. I once read a research that shows creative people tend to have an unrestrained ability to subsconsciously absorb everything around them – everything is meaningful in an illogical manner. The same research tries to explain that the very same strength is what that makes these people have the potential to suffer mentally. You can’t just turn off the tap and choose what to absorb. It is either on or off.

Sometimes I feel weak because of my nature. There are times I wish I can turn it all off and just be a detached human being. Wouldn’t it be nice not to feel so much for once? But then, what is the point of my life then? To find ways to feel numb and cruise through life?

Ultimately (after long self-debate in my mind) I am grateful for my strong emotions. They make me the person I am. I don’t know what tomorrow or next week holds but I try to seek new ways to keep my soul alive. Whether is it moving, eating or writing posts like this to share. 

In my quest to be the best person I want to be, I have made choices which didn’t turn out right, but still I know I have tried my very best within my own capacity. But that is life. When things don’t turn out right, there is where we learn.

I haven’t been writing much because of the way I’ve been feeling. I don’t wish for people I care about to worry about me. But the reason why I started writing in the first place was because I wanted to be authentic about my ups and downs. There is very little honesty existing in this world and I don’t wish to be part of that statistic.  

I want to be real, that’s all. I guess it is better to be potentially alienated than to be who I am not.