Seven Years in Vietnam (2004-2011)

A month and a half years ago I hit the seven year mark in Vietnam.  No celebrations, no parties, no nothing.  It was just another day for me.  I remember writing a blog post about my experiences up this time.  Amazing how a year went by fast.  Things have changed for the better.

My Home

Much to my surprise, I still live in the same room in District 1 on Nguyen Trai street.  My Aussie roommate moved out last month but I decided to stay for a bit longer.  I just do not want the worries about taking care of the house at the moment plus I have a really great landlord.  This is the first place I ever lived in where I had no complaints.  It makes things nice and now I can finally work at home.  For $280 US per month which includes electricty, cable, internet and house cleaning, I have no reason to complain.  I do miss having a kitchen though.  I suspect I finally finally move out by October/November this year.

I will get another cat this week, finally.  It got lonely not having a pet.  Many of you will see Smokey II this week and hopefully many posts to follow.

Work

I completed my one-year contract with the Horizon International Bilingual School on May 31st.  I ended up leaving earlier since I intended to stay until August but they needed me to leave early.  I took about two weeks off before taking a short part-time stint at The American School of Vietnam.  I completed one month of the two month contract but will probably need to leave early to focus on my companies.

I helped start a new IT start-up called Orion NewTech with two Vietnamese.  We are focusing on: professional IT & telecom solutions; media online solutions; green power solutions; audio-video & security systems; advertising, printing & events; and new technology transfers.  We are made up with former VNPT and VDC guys.  One of our consultant brought the internet to HCMC.  The chairman imported the first computers.  Orion already helped Rackspace set up it’s first event in Vietnam.  I am currently a shareholder with this company and I will join full-time next month.

I also joined Wimax Communications which provides camera and wireless surveillance systems in Vietnam.  Wimax and Orion are in the same office but we plan to combine the two in the future with Wimax being the consultancy and Orion being the main vendor.

Edit:  I shutdown Orion Newtech since one partner owes me money.  I left Wimax for the same reason and formed my own company.

I also plan to set up my company as well so I can work on some e-commerce projects.  I will talk more about this later.

Future

I am still in Vietnam but I am planning to return to the US someday to start my PhD.  I delayed it for a year but I know I should start it in the next 2-3 years.  This will mean leaving the companies I join so the decision will be a tough one.

Eventually I will return to Vietnam and possibly even Japan.

We will see what happens…

  • Congratulation on your seven years in Viet Nam. You are a survivor because you have remained flexible and have quickly moved on to new ventures as necessary. You have made a lot of friends along the way, which is the secret I think to maintaining stability in expat life.

    • Thanks Mel, you as well. Thanks for being a great friend. Lets meet up. Are you back yet?

  • Kenny

    Who know what the future hold? May be you will meet a special someone and settle down or may be your start up companies become hugely successful and you be a millionaire :).

    It does sounds like you gonna be really busy with the 2 start up companies though, fun times ahead!

  • mtram

    Happy 7 years in VN.  I left VN 20 years but have not come back yet.  I try to see VN with its changes through your blog. Thanks

    •  @mtram Going on 8 years now.  You should come back now b/c Saigon is changing fast.  Old Vietnam is disappearing.

      • mtram

         @kevmille But Old Vietnam-or old Saigon is the one I grew up with, the one I’m familiar with.  When it is gone, where is there to visit?.
        By the way, what is “bone 2 chi em”? name of a dish?  does not sound vietnamese.

        •  @mtram Bo Ne 2 Chi Em is a bo ne restaurant chain in Saigon.  I forgot the name of this dish.
           
           

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