In Việt Nam

Inflection point of trust


According to Wikipedia, ‘Reasons why the country had successfully prevented the virus in the past being overrun is the Delta variant, this strain is more transmissible than the previous ones but the government still using outdated policies and practices. After using the old methods – which had been very successful before, proved ineffective and the number of infections kept increasing, the government became confused and constantly came up with inconsistent anti-epidemic policies making scientists, doctors, and medical experts unconvinced.

‘After losing the opportunity to show they are an excellent example in pandemic control, the government is left with the harsher option of controlling information to keep its public image.* Then a chain reaction emerges. When trust with the central government reduced, each locality applies its own anti-epidemic methods that they consider effective while people resist lock down protocols. As a result, the outbreak became more severe, straining health care capacity.[292]

‘Another reason is Vietnam’s slow vaccine rollout. After the success in suppressing COVID-19 in 2020, the authorities displayed complacency and not taking the opportunity to purchase vaccine and implement immunization program when the number of cases still low. As the Delta variant was rampaging in India and reaching Vietnam, the country’s communist party was still in undergoing a leadership transition. The 13th Party Congress ended in early February 2021, but cabinet positions were not filled until May and June to wait the National Assembly conducted its voting. This power change diverted the government’s attention away from the vaccine procurement campaign and disrupted anti-epidemic activities. The weaker response to the pandemic than the previous government because of an overemphasis on growth has a negative impact on Vietnam’s worldwide reputation, as well as on local trust in the administration, making a rocky start for Phạm Minh Chính‘s new government.[293][294][295].

*This. Is the inflection point, according to me.

At the end of the day, it’s about trust. Transparency and dependability. If you suppress information, that’s not a good sign. I’m thinking many things, reading reports of the things going on in Vietnam that are being published outside of Vietnam.

To be continued.

Vietnamese News Express

Found in the Field · In Việt Nam


Huong Le Thu writes:

‘Why is the country’s previous effective strategy not coping?

‘One reason is the delta variant shows a very different transmission pattern than the previous strains. Another is Vietnam’s slow vaccine rollout which can be attributed to a mix of factors.

‘The government showed a level of complacency — a common trap experienced by many countries that had initial successes in containing the virus, including Australia, Taiwan, and New Zealand. The lack of urgency due to the low infection rates before the arrival of the delta variant made Vietnam slow in securing a vaccine supply. The shortage of vaccines, particularly for less developed countries, further led to Vietnam’s protracted inoculation process. As the delta variant was spreading in India and reaching Vietnam, the CPV was still in undergoing a leadership transition. The 13th Party Congress concluded in early February, but the cabinet positions were not appointed until May and June when the National Assembly conducted its voting. Arguably, that power transition process distracted from and protracted the vaccine procurement campaign amidst global demand.

‘The authorities also thought they could afford to wait for development of homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, with four in the works: Nanocovax by Nanogen, Covivac by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), and two others from the Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (Vabiotech) and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals. Nanocovax, which passed three phases of human trials, is expected to seek emergency approval soon and be available by late this year.’


Images paired with stories about the pandemic here are originally published at: VietnamNews Express & VietnamNews.Vn

In Việt Nam


The number of people who died today, in Ho Chi Minh City.

Who were they? What stories did they leave? Who is grieving tonight in the city? It is a long distance from the end, here, for the covid fourth wave, looks like, emotionally.

Discussion links to follow on email for members of S P A C E. Personal stories from the pandemic to be shared in 2 weeks’ time. Gathering them now. Listening, feeling..

Gallery · In Việt Nam

A global pandemic? | Một đại dịch?

Pandemic | Dại dịch


Original photos from Vietnam News Express and, styled by DK


And we’ll grow it as a moral force in the world, finding out those terrible things before anybody else knows about them, and sending our response to them, so that next year, instead of us meeting here, lamenting how many terrible things there are in the world, we will have pulled together, used the unique skills and the magic of this community, and be proud that we have done everything we can to stop pandemics, other catastrophes, and change the world, beginning right now.

Phát triển nó thành lực lượng nhân đạo trên toàn thế giới, tìm ra những thứ tai hại trước khi ai đó biết về chúng, và gửi sự giúp đỡ tới họ, để trong năm tới, thay vì gặp mặt nhau ở đây, than thở về bao nhiêu điều tệ hại trên thế giới này, chúng ta sẽ hợp lực cùng nhau sử dụng những kĩ năng độc nhất và phép lạ của cộng đồng này, và tự hào rằng chúng ta đã làm hết sức để ngăn chặn các đại dịch bùng nổ, những thảm họa, và thay đổi thế giới bắt đầu ngay từ bây giờ.

The global pandemic your father believed was about to emerge. What factors determine the duration of a pandemic? A pandemic occurs when an outbreak affects many people over a wide area. There is plenty of evidence to support economic arguments for pandemic preparedness. Experience with past pandemics she says , show the H1N1 virus is likely to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and continue to circulate for some years to come. What factors determine the duration of a pandemic, we don’t really know. The cause of the devastating Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 was initially unclear. And it’s now not just the nuclear threat; in our interconnected world, network breakdowns can cascade globally; air travel can spread pandemics worldwide within days; and social media can spread panic and rumor literally at the speed of light.

Đại dịch toàn cầu mà bố cậu tin hoàn toàn sắp xảy ra. Các yếu tố nào quyết định thời gian kéo dài của một dịch bệnh? Đại dịch xảy ra khi nhiều người nhiễm bệnh trên một diện tích lớn. Có rất nhiều dẫn chứng có thể hỗ trợ cho luận điểm kinh tế của việc chuẩn bị ứng phó với dịch bệnhTheo kinh nghiệm từ những trận dịch trước đây bà cho rằng vi-rút H1N1 có thể chuyển sang dạng vi-rút cúm theo mùa và tiếp tục diễn biến trong vài năm tới. Chúng ta thực sự không biết những yếu tố nào quyết định điều đó. Nguyên nhân của đại dịch cúm 1918 ban đầu không rõ ràng. Giờ đây, không chỉ là hiểm họa hạt nhân; trong thế giới kết nối của chúng ta, sự sụp đổ internet có thể diễn ra ở phạm vi toàn cầu; đại dịch có thể lan khắp thế giới trong vài ngày bằng đường hàng không và mạng xã hội có thể lan truyền sự hoảng sợ và tin đồn với tốc độ ánh sáng theo đúng nghĩa đen.

Submit your story? Here’s a form.

In Việt Nam

Dis & Misinformation

I want to share something I found today online that sums up my feelings of what people say they’re seeing on the news about what’s going on here in Vietnam, and what it actually feels like to be here. Plus: this is the state of the city, here in Ho Chi Minh. 

From Cuong Dang, via #hochiminhcity thread on LinkedIn. See:

‘Today is Monday August 23, 2021, first day of a complete lockdown of Ho Chi Minh city for the next 14 days. Government’s extreme effort is to hope life will resume normal by September 15. And they need our help.

‘Just mins [sic] after the announcement was made last Friday, I’ve seen misinformation being spread all over social media with photos of military tanks rolling around downtown, soldiers in uniforms and heavily armed getting ready for battles at airport and so on. ALL that you see is not true.

‘I did a bit of research and was informed these were photos of completely unrelated events [that] happened years ago and also some photos were even coming from the conflict in Myanmar earlier this year.

‘It is true that Vietnamese government is deploying thousands of troops to help with logistics, food deliveries, medical support among others. NOT getting ready for war. As you can see real photos on this post from Tuoi Tre Online.

‘Just a quick friendly reminder, ALWAYS check for sources from reliable media outlets and especially government agencies. If someone makes a questionable/alarming post on social media network with unclear source, never trust it. Spend a few minutes double checking its facts.

‘There are individuals out there taking advantage of the current situation to get more attention and views, we must always check for its legitimacy and stop spreading misinformation to avoid causing more distress for others…’

Desk Notes · In Việt Nam

Miếng săng uých

Cooking!, at times. But also just making sandwiches, sometimes, too. Lockdown continues in its strictest form for another month; which is a long time, but I guess, so is a year and a half and that’s how long I’ve been in Vietnam just kind of waiting for borders to open and meantime looking for fun things to make, and ideally, co-create. I love a good party. Anyway, the food is fun to try and so is learning about how to say things. A different language can open your eyes to an entirely fascinating new way of thinking.

Some new folks and I got together on a call. We talked on a call this week about ‘acculturation’ versus ‘assimilation’ or what I further went on to read is ‘integration’ and then there’s also ‘marginalization.’ All these big multisyllabic words to describe the feelings one traverses, in different personalities of whom we are as we approach those borders that delineate us from ‘something I don’t know yet’, and how we cope with the ‘acculturation stress’. Which is the updated word, it appears, for ‘culture shock.’

Did I have culture shock coming to Vietnam? In 2013, yes. In 2020, less. In 2021, I’m halfway to something else, scaling that barrier. Starting with pronunciation. Hopefully, steadily, two steps forward and one step back, doing more. Changing. Inwardly. And in so doing, perchance arriving closer and closer to the center of a New.

Which, after all, is kind of amazing and hard, yes, especially with this Delta thing and lots of time to read the internet while waiting for HCMC to reopen, for one, then VN, then.. the world. Or something. For today, ‘sandwich.’ Miếng săng uých. I like this.

Experiments in Expression · Found in the Field · Gallery


Zines & Cuizines aka ‘New Cuizines’

a project of

Atelier S P A C E // Ho Chi Minh City

The food scene in Vietnam is its very own unique thing and well worth spending time with, while DK is here. (And… while I am here, I should also learn how to cook, something that I just skipped over most of my life.)… [deleted]… it’s also quite beautiful to discover new things. Which all began, in September 2020, with this:

Van Tran prepared this food and took this photo. It’s the cover image of S P A C E | ‘Home’. Find this issue in our shop >

So yeah. Since getting the chance to see how quickly one can prepare a gorgeous meal, and being the kind of person who loves collages, and so, yeah, why not just try it. Collaging with… ingredients. So, since lockdown started in June of this year, I got more serious about it. And I decided to try my hand at this new adventure, in.. what is this thing!? Cooking.

Getting better. I think. All this is possible in New Cuizines thanks to some new crowdfunding support. Yes. That’s right. Thank you. So I have been reading more and more about… food. Background, you know. Research. For fun, I found some pictures of the things that I see every day and wanted to put them together in a mini-collage below. I found them online, and the artists’ names are below each image, shared with permission. I got them from a website that lets you share images for free, because it was way too hard to ask people who take pictures here to work with me on anything; it’s just too much effort to get in touch and ask people to meet you and talk about things, share, that sort of craic… [deleted]… With whomever shows up. So, I came online again and searched and sorted. Curating things, now, more and more. Lately I found:

Hoang Thanh

Lynda Hinton

Anh Nguyen

Special thanks to

Atelier S P A C E // Ho Chi Minh City teammates

Anonymous & Van Tran


'S' is for Sincerity · Ideations


I’m in Ho Chi Minh City (‘HCMC’ is this city, if you’re not familiar with that acronym).

We’re in social distancing, currently, and have been, since the beginning of June.

So many emails. So many zooms. I’ve had time.

Been writing the updates, but felt like starting a brand new slate for sharing online with those whose paths I haven’t crossed in some giant stretch of time. (Could you resubscribe to the mailing list if you want to keep in touch?) Cool.

The link is here:

Hoang Thanh


Gallery · In Việt Nam

Mệt mỏi | Fatigue

A few weeks ago we shared with you the zine, S P A C E | ‘Fatigue.’

Honestly it was the compilation that resulted from a set of conversations that began in real life spaces here in Saigon, before the city closed. And observations. The culture of moving, constantly, through the day and routines such that no time was spared for basics like catching up with oneself, one’s friends, one’s sleep, even, became more and more commonly seen by us at Atelier S P A C E. Rather than the exception, fatigue was the norm. I could cite articles that led us to this conclusion, but I will leave it in the reporter’s notebook space which isn’t public like this one. Cool.

Mệt mỏi | Fatigue

Artists’ names are below each image

Curated by
Dipika Kohli

Words by


Một cảm giác mệt mỏi chủ quan dần dần khởi phát. Không giống như sự ốm yếu, mệt mỏi có thể được giảm bớt theo thời gian nghỉ ngơi.  Mệt mỏi có thể có nguyên nhân thể chất hoặc tinh thần. Sự mệt mỏi về thể chất là sự mất khả năng thoáng qua của cơ để duy trì hoạt động thể chất tối ưu, và trở nên nghiêm trọng hơn khi tập thể dục mạnh.[1][2][3] Mệt mỏi về tinh thần là một sự giảm thoáng qua về hiệu suất nhận thức tối đa do thời gian hoạt động nhận thức kéo dài. Nó có thể biểu hiện như buồn ngủ, thờ ơ hoặc giảm sự tập trung chú ý.[4]

Về mặt y học, mệt mỏi là một triệu chứng không đặc hiệu, có nghĩa là nó có nhiều nguyên nhân có thể và đi kèm với nhiều điều kiện khác nhau. Mệt mỏi được coi là triệu chứng, chứ không phải là dấu hiệu, bởi vì nó là một cảm giác chủ quan được báo cáo bởi bệnh nhân, chứ không phải là một khách quan mà người khác có thể quan sát. Mệt mỏi và ‘cảm giác mệt mỏi’ thường bị lẫn lộn..[5]

Fabian Oelkers

Gregory Pappas

Mệt mỏi thường được coi là một tình trạng kéo dài hơn buồn ngủ.[6] Mặc dù buồn ngủ có thể là triệu chứng của các vấn đề y tế, nhưng nó thường là do thiếu giấc ngủ ngon hoặc thiếu sự kích thích.[7] Mệt mỏi mãn tính, mặt khác, là một triệu chứng của một vấn đề y tế lớn hơn trong hầu hết các trường hợp. Nó thể hiện sự mệt mỏi về tinh thần hoặc thể chất và không thể hoàn thành nhiệm vụ ở hiệu suất bình thường.[8] Cả hai thường được sử dụng thay thế cho nhau và thậm chí được phân loại theo mô tả ‘mệt mỏi’. Thông thường mệt mỏi được mô tả như là một mệt mỏi không thoải mái, trong khi buồn ngủ là thoải mái hơn.

Mệt mỏi là kết quả của làm việc bình thường, căng thẳng về tinh thần, bị kích thích quá mức, đi máy bay, giải trí quá mức,trầm cảm, chán nản, bệnh tậtthiếu ngủ. Nó cũng có thể có nguyên nhân hóa học, chẳng hạn như ngộ độc, lượng đường trong máu thấp hoặc thiếu hụt khoáng chất hoặc vitamin. Mất máu mãn tính thường dẫn đến mệt mỏi, cũng như các tình trạng khác do thiếu máu. Mệt mỏi khác với buồn ngủ, nơi bệnh nhân cảm thấy rằng giấc ngủ là cần thiết. Mệt mỏi là một phản ứng bình thường đối với gắng sức hoặc căng thẳng về thể chất, nhưng cũng có thể là dấu hiệu của một rối loạn thể chất.

Mệt mỏi tạm thời có thể là một căn bệnh nhỏ như cảm lạnh thông thường như một phần của đáp ứng hành vi bệnh tật xảy ra khi hệ thống miễn dịch chống lại nhiễm trùng.

From Wikipedia:


A feeling of fatigue, subjective, gradually sets in. Unlike illness, fatigue can be alleviated with rest. Fatigue can have physical or mental causes. Physical fatigue is the transient inability of muscles to maintain optimal physical performance, and is aggravated by vigorous exercise. Mental fatigue is a transient decrease in maximal cognitive performance due to prolonged periods of cognitive activity. It may manifest as drowsiness, lethargy, or decreased attention span.

Medically, fatigue is a nonspecific symptom, which means it has many possible causes and is associated with many different conditions. Fatigue is considered a symptom, rather than a sign, because it is a subjective feeling reported by the patient, rather than an objective one that can be observed by others. Fatigue and ‘feeling of fatigue’ are often confused..[5]

Fatigue is generally considered to be a longer-lasting condition than drowsiness.[6] Although drowsiness can be a symptom of medical problems, it is usually due to lack of good sleep or lack of stimulation.[7] Chronic fatigue, on the other hand, is a symptom of a larger medical problem in most cases. It represents mental or physical fatigue and an inability to complete tasks at normal performance.[8] The two are often used interchangeably and are even classified under the description ‘fatigue’. Usually fatigue is described as an uncomfortable fatigue, while drowsiness is more comfortable.

Fatigue is the result of normal work, mental stress, overstimulation, airplane travel, excessive entertainment, depression, boredom, illness, and lack of sleep. It can also have a chemical cause, such as poisoning, low blood sugar, or a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Chronic blood loss often leads to fatigue, as well as other conditions caused by anemia. Fatigue is different from drowsiness, where the patient feels that sleep is necessary. Fatigue is a normal response to physical exertion or stress, but can also be a sign of a physical disorder.

Temporary fatigue can be as minor as the common cold as part of a disease behavioral response that occurs when the immune system fights off an infection.

From Wikipedia:

S P A C E | ‘Fatigue’

Get this issue in our shop >>


In Việt Nam

Covid fourth wave in Việt Nam: Mini-report from Hồ Chí Minh City

Nguyễn Mỹ Hà‘s lede in a story in the Vietnam News hits the note, exactly. It’s this: ‘Hồ Chí Minh City is not feeling well.’

From the article:

‘The most vibrant and economically wealthy city in Việt Nam has offered financial aid* to help people whose incomes have been slashed due to the city’s 14-day lockdown.

‘When HCM City coughs, the whole country feels the cold. Its daily number of positive cases this week has been consistently above 1,000 and topped 2,000 on Wednesday.

‘The Ministry of Health continues to send medical teams with doctors and other health personnel to help HCM City fight the pandemic. More than 7,000 medical students have been added to the health force to start work in the city’s quarantine camps and hospitals.’

When a horse is sick, the whole stable feels the pain, goes a popular saying,” writes Nguyễn Mỹ Hà.

Read the full story:


*Friends tell us how hard it is to do the paperwork to actually get to any package that might come out, and some people are waiting and waiting for previous similar things to come to fruit, is the word on the street, to our knowledge. Meantime the need for cash is real. So here’s what’s up…. Social sustainability-shaped things, up next, in S P A C E. This is where DK has been taking shelter since the outbreak of the virus, and thanks to help from friends and neighbors, gotten by with… being in a foreign land, unplannedly. Now, this. Support DK’s own effort to create small, paid writing and design commissions. These would be for people whom we have gotten to know and whose work we value and even cherish, at Atelier S P A C E Ho Chi Minh City. See ‘Book of Feelings’ at our recently updated crowdfunding page. Here is a link.


Help me make it *happen*.


A Philosophy of the Moment · Found in the Field

Về quả | ‘Six major fruits, four potential fruits, and six minor fruits’

The S P A C E editorial review team for our culinary segment, #newcuizines, a crowdfunded effort, says it’s important to start from the basics. It’s like this, they say. ‘When in Japan you have to learn to knit, you don’t start by just knitting any old thing.’ Oh? ‘Well yeah. You begin by washing yarn. Get that right, first. Yarn. And how to wash it. This takes time.’ We are nascent here with #newcuizines and um, instead of washing yarn, we will read technical blog posts. Let me explain.

This curated new team of discerning foodies, foodies, they say, ‘with taste,’ lol, deems it appropriate to share a technical blog post today. About fruits. Fruits, specifically, of Vietnam. Why? This publication’s editors could reach only one person today for comment, since everyone is quite busy in our social distancing life currently. That person, occasional contributing writer QN, replied to us over Zalo with a zinger: ‘Fruit! Yes, great idea. OMG they are so awesome!’ ‘Kay cool. We’ll give ourselves some time to get going with more original stories, but for now, this. At this moment in time, our story today is a snippet, excerpted from the excellent writings at:


1. Introduction


Fruit production in Vietnam has developed very significantly in recent years. This sector has experienced rapid growth because income per hectare from growing fruits is four to eight times greater than from growing rice. In the rapidly expanding markets of Vietnam, it has been easy to sell fruits so producers have concentrated on quantity rather than quality. However, this system of production is likely to change, because traditional growing techniques are often irregular and inadequate, disease-control measures are poor and markets are changing, with better quality fruit being sought by consumers.

The lack of basic information of the fruits grown in Vietnam is a bottleneck for further development. Although there are numerous kinds of fruits in Vietnam, it is not possible for the author to cover them all in this small publication.

The present document only attempts to compile existing information on six major fruits, four potential fruits, and six minor fruits.

Pertinent information on each fruit includes scientific and vernacular names (in English, French, and five Southeast Asian nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), general description, origin and distribution, ecology, genetics and improvement, major cultivars in Vietnam, propagation, planting, pests and diseases, fruiting season, harvest and yield, post-harvests operation, problems, and prospects.

1.1 Major Fruits

These are fruits that are most commonly found in Vietnam. They are listed in Table 1. However, the present document covers only six major fruits having the highest priority in development, namely longan, lychee, mandarin, mango, orange and pummelo. See:


Photo: Neha


1.3 Areas of Production

Areas of fruit trees in Vietnam have been increasing with the changing of cropping system. In addition, with the policy of the Government to cover some areas in the mountainous regions with fruit trees, more areas have been planted to fruit crops.

In 2003, the total areas of fruit trees in Vietnam was 643 550 ha, with total production of 5 695 000 tons (or the increase of 13.8% and 15%, respectively, as compared to 2000). The major fruit commodities are banana, lychee and longan, citrus, pineapple and mango, whose area and production are given below.

Banana: Area: 105 000 ha; total production: 1 365 000 tons; important provinces and area (ha): Ca Mau (7 000), Thanh Hoa (8,000), Song Nai (6 000), Soc Trang (6,500), Tra Vinh (3 400), Can Tho (3 000 ha), An Giang (3 000 ha).

Lychee and Longan: Area: 190 000 ha; total production: 694 000 tons; important provinces and area (ha): Bac Giang (25 500), Ben Tre (16 200), Tien Giang (13 528), Vinh long (9 500), Son La (9 600), Hai Dong (9 400), Quang Ninh (7 000), Hoa Binh (4 500).

Citrus: Area: 73 000 ha; total production 440 000 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Can Tho (13 181), Ben Tre (6 000), Vinh Long (6 500), Ha giang (4 200), Nghe An (4 700), Dong Thap (3 200).

Pineapple: Area: 40 000 ha (in which 8 000 ha are grown to Cayenne varitey), total production: 337 500 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Kien Giang (7 710), Tien Giang (6 830), Quang nam (2 320), Thanh Ho (1 600) Vµ Ninh Binh (1 572).

Mango: Area: 46 500 ha, total production: 209 400 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Tien Giang (6 000), Binh Phuoc (4 205), Song Thap (3 700), Can Tho (3 500), Khanh Hoa (4 000).

In addition, there are relatively large areas in some provinces planted to some specific fruits, namely: plum (Bac Ha – Lao Cai), sweetsop (Lang Son), dragon fruit (Binh Thuan) and grape (Ninh Thuan).



'S' is for Sincerity · Experiments in Expression · Ideas of Curiosity

I <3 New Cuizines

Today we share an update about #NewCuizines..

I told you about it? About #newcuizines? I’ll be curating here and there some of my favorite food-related [various media pieces] and original stories from the kitchen-atelier of our studio itself. Atelier S P A C E, because. Cooking. Is happening. It has to. There are no take-aways allowed and so, um, you have to prepare things.

I’m glad I have a kitchen, to do that. I’ve made some [deleted]… but these look pretty good…

Yes, you know I am not a foodie. But I do like good food. I mean, eating it. How could I not after three years in the gastronomic paradise of West Cork, Ireland (thank you lads). Well. After all that, I am in Vietnam, one of the most brilliant places to be for food especially if you want to see how creative everything can get with texture, color, composition. Style. I’m enjoying it. Continue reading “I <3 New Cuizines”

Experiments in Expression · Gallery

S P A C E | ‘The Way I Go’

A curated collection of
new poetry & photography
made between the months of
June 2020-June 2021

Atelier S P A C E HCMC Autumn 2020
Art Director

Văn Trần



‘The Way I Go’

an online exhibition

opening reception
by invitation

Monday 5 July 2021


to request an invitation
join mailing list

thank you

Images: by Văn Trần, September & October 2020, Saigon

Strange Geometries · WORK

Social sustainability

Since arriving in Vietnam and finding myself looking around me, mostly just people watching, for most of most days from the time I got to Saigon in September up until a few weeks ago when the city closed up for social distancing, I have been seeing people get very tired form a work culture that, I’m really dismayed to find, when I see it, all around me, obsessing about the dollar and sacrificing just about everything else towards the goal of making a few bucks. I want to make something new, next.

A social enterprise, without the BS factor that you and I both know that a lot of companies use to try to market themselves. I’m tired of seeing people I know and whose work I value being exploited and overused, and they come back, so tired, so fatigued, that the Art of everything becomes so remote, so lost, so… irrelevant… that it breaks up the feelings of wanting to keep questing, keep learning, keep inquiring, and keep making. With me. Selfishly, I want to make more art with more creative people, and that’s why I want to get started on a new venture.

Maybe something like Fare Start in Seattle, where people grow their own food, and find jobs in kitchens that employ those who need to learn new skills, and then, voila, they make a restaurant and serve people and generate income, from that. I don’t know. It’s a lot of thinking, right now, and less action. Naturally. We’re in a semi-lockdown phase, so I’ve got time to dream up a new thing. But yeah. I want to keep writing and talking more about Social Sustainability here on the blog and in real life when I can. It’s best if it’s in real life, because you know, that’s where you learn a lot from the indirect nature of how humans communicate. Let me see what I can do, meantime, though, to teach myself what this is and set up something, when I get to the next spot, here in Vietnam.

For now, this.




‘One of the major reasons behind the recent state of fatigue among Vietnamese people is burnout—a condition in which a person feels exhausted and exhibits reduced productivity following prolonged stress,’ writes Tuoi Tre News in a story called, ‘Burnout, workplace stress put damper on success in Vietnam’ published on May 11, 2021.

It checks with our own observations living in Saigon during a difficult time when many young people feel the pressure to support not only their own lives in the city, but often, others back home in places far from here where money is scarce. And even more so, given the pandemic’s drastic effects on the economy worldwide.

A few notes from the article..

‘More and more patients have sought professional aid in this matter. The psychology department of the University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City welcomes a daily average of eight to nine people from different age groups who have burnout problems. 

Where did the joy go? ‘A Vietnamese woman named M. has spent the last 20 years devoting herself to work. She moved up the ladder from a newbie staff member to manager and she currently acts as the deputy chief executive officer of a technology company. She has found herself up to her ears in work in recent years. Her work hours start at 7:00 am and she does not sign off until very late in the evening. Phone calls and messages constantly appear, keeping her absolutely occupied. Instead of bragging about the joy she has, the 45-year-old woman confessed otherwise despite her career success. “I’ve felt really tired, as if my head was stiff. I wake up every morning feeling scared for the coming day,” she said. “I’m scared of everything. I’m really down spirited. The internal conflict grows day by day.”… T.A.T. is a 26-year-old secretary working for a Japanese firm in Ho Chi Minh City. Her first days at work were a wonder, but three months into the job revealed to her that the work did not live up to her expectations. She has been under constant stress. “I feel that all of my energy is drained out the moment a new day begins,” she said. “It’s like butterflies in my stomach. My heart beats faster.”

Do you have a story to share about your own experiences of work, working a lot, working so much you don’t know what it was like to live a life where there was something besides work in it? If yes, get in touch. We’re going to curate a special exhibition of stories and images around this exact theme: Fatigue.