Last night my good buddy and roommate packed up his stuff and left Vietnam, perhaps not to return. Axel was the guy I discovered Vietnam with as we both had studied in Tokyo together. He left the language program earlier than I, but we kind of understood that we would probably both see each other again in Vietnam sooner or later. In the August of 2004 I came to Vietnam and about 8 months later he finished up his MBA program and came to do some consulting work for our friend who owns a computer company. He stayed in the room just next to mine and now seeing that room empty, I can’t help but feel a little sad.
I should be used to this kind of thing, switching countries as I do, but I really hate when it’s time to say goodbye to good friends. Perhaps his leaving foreshadows my own time to leave Vietnam and I’m starting to feel the chill of the winds of change. I plan to stay here until Spring time next year and then I’m off either back to Japan or perhaps the west coast of the USA. So as I watched him gather up his things yesterday, I guess I was really thinking about the time when I will also be packing all my belongings in the entire world into one little suitcase and have my world turned upside down as I adjust to new cultures, languages and ways of life.
In his leaving, I feel as though it’s the end of an era and very soon I’ll be home for a good month, then will only have two to three months left of Vietnam upon my return. Ahhhhhh, I hate change!!!! But then again, it’s something that must be done to keep the mind fresh and keep me on my toes. I’ve now got the itch to move along and it never goes away once it starts.
I’m just a little anxious though to leave Saigon. The lifestyle is so relaxed here and I’m wondering if it’s possible to re-adjust to life back in the rat race.