It’s a Tuesday morning here in Da Nang, Vietnam. I’m sitting in a cafe drinking salt coffee and a eating an apple pastry. A light rain drizzles outside. A young Vietnamese man sits to my left, painting with watercolors. A foreign couple sits in front of me, scrolling on their phones. Various nationalities scattered about sipping coffee and working on their laptops.
Although my 9–5 office days were only a couple months ago, it feels much longer. Time has begun to slow down for me. Weeks feel like months. Months feel like years. My routine has been shattered. Everyday is something new, a blank canvas for me to create on. I am able to follow my spontaneous nature. I live day by day.
I have some work later tonight, a couple hours of work and I should be able to make around $30. That should cover my $3 coffee and pastry. My $3 per day scooter rental. My $13 per night apartment. And maybe a bit leftover for dinner tonight.
Life is simple here.
I don’t really need to worry about things like car insurance, mortgage payments, phone/internet contracts, people, societal pressure…
At least for me, it seems like America is made by design to keep Americans in tolerable, yet persistent state of fear, anxiety, or worry.
There’s always something wrong, something to fear, something to worry about. Everyone seems on edge.
Oh look, there goes the economy.
Oh look, gas prices are rising.
Oh look, inflation is making eggs more expensive.
Oh hey, don’ forget 401k retirement savings.
When are you gonna buy a house and start a family already? Time’s a ticking.
Oh no, another mass shooting at the mall.
We are fed a steady stream of anxiety, which may or may not be intentional. I mean I guess it works right? It keeps the people chugging along, working their 9–5s and making America the world’s greatest economic power, but who’s really benefiting from that?
But anyway, these are just my thoughts as a guy in Vietnam sitting in this coffeeshop typing away on his keyboard.