I feel nervous. I don’t like this type of nervousness.
I’m leaving Vietnam and unless I get trapped in some freak storm at sea, It’s unlikely I’ll ever return. I’m going to Hong Kong for a few days. After that, life is utterly uncertain. If plans go according to themselves, I will be in Shanghai within a week. If they don’t, well, I could be in Korea, back in Vietnam, England or Colombia. I don’t have a clue.The place I am leaving
The problem is I only have 2 passport pages left. This was never an issue before, because I just needed one visa into China where I could use my 3 month visa to get the passport replaced. However, as of the start of this month, I suddenly can’t get a 3 month-er anymore. I’m limited to 1 month. On top of this, as of 2014 the UK only allows to renew passports in England, extending the waiting time to a guaranteed minimum of 4 weeks, as if we have reverted back to the ancient times when passports were just being figured out.
They are doing this to ‘save money’.
Combined, I no longer have enough time at any point to get a new passport and thus a longer-term visa for Shanghai.
Potential port of arrival 1
This isn’t why I’m nervous.
How many times have I gotten on a plane to an unknown realm now? How many times have I flown to Hong Kong? These places aren’t even unknown anymore, I have friends at each stop I go to. Being unsure often comes with the territory and I have the money to simply vanish into Colombia where two good friends will await me and I would suffer no problems in life. Aside from maybe a few gunshot wounds.
Potential port of arrival 2
There’s nothing to fear other than a loss of material wealth, and that’s why I’m not nervous about it. This nervousness I dislike so much is a kind of feeling I can’t rationalise, and that irks me and makes it feel worse.
I’ve been in Vietnam since around November 2012. This is the longest continuous stint in any country I’ve had since Leaving England in 2010. Not only that but I haven’t been very outgoing here, I’ve had my own little hole and stayed in it for the vast majority of time. I have become *very* familiar with this hole I’ve created.
Suddenly, I’m giving up my apartment, I’m giving up my bike, I’m selling my boots and keyboard. My keyring is just that; a keyring. There are no keys anymore. It’s not even my keyring, I stole it from my now lost apartment. Tomorrow I will leave behind the only person in 1.5 years that actually meant anything to me in the entire country (see some other post I wrote about the pains of leaving people like this).
Once again I have gone from having everything including a feeling of stability and reliable income to having a burst of fast-draining income and the stability of a unicycle mountaineering marathon. But it’s not that lack of stability that is hitting me so hard.
Potential port of arrival 3
It’s the leaving. And in particular the fact that this conclusion makes no sense. I’ve been wanting to leave for months. I’ve been excited and is has dragged out more than I could handle, yet when it comes to the eve of fate, I walk home, bikeless, departed from the meaningful one, past the Chicken place I ate at so frequently, past the senseless crossing I drove through every day to work and back, past the western style outdoor bar with the same guitar-singer performing in the same purple lights I would see every night. Then I would turn right instead of left. To this hotel which is cleaned back to its original state every time I leave it, all essence of me militarily removed.
I should be glad to see the back of everything, but I’m suddenly not. Of the choices I have, all but Colombia are grey. The weather will be converted to grey smog and rain, cold and wind. The greenery and the laziness will convert to more grey and rushed individuals. The sweet and relaxed chirping of birds will become few and far between strains of birdal cords, struggling to be heard over human activity and locked in caged for good luck.
The language will become, well, less annoying.
The prices of drink will go from 30 cents for a bottle of beer to somewhere over the rainbow. A meal, drink and dessert at a restaurant will go from $2 to $15, pizza from $5 to $20. A home will cost 50% more for 50% less home.
It suddenly seems kinda stupid that I’m giving it all up for nothing more than uncertainty.
These are the feelings in my gut, the ones that make me feel so terrible right now.
The feelings in my head tell a different story, however. The allergy to the entire country that I have suffered for a constant 6 months, a perpetual sneeze fest, cured only by permanent tissue up each nostril, head under a pillow and significant complaining of hate, will vanish. I will be free from ailments once more.
The useless methods and slow, late, careless fools that dominate the country will be replaced by smarter, slightly more developed beings.
The conservative race that limits my conversation to polite small talk will be upgraded to slightly less conservatism, and indeed liberalism around the friends to which I am already acquainted. Ambitions can at the very least be traced and hunted, not put on annual holds whilst I teach my way into funding myself (although that will inevitably take a role in all this).
Convenience will rise, unreliability will fall. Variation will bloom, routine will wither.
I’m not going to spend the night convincing myself of the brain’s or the heart’s way. I’m just going to sit here fretting and get it over with. Irrationality irks me and its bumbling around in my gut like it owns the place.
Not for long.