Year of the Dog will bring changes galore


One of my new gigs: English lecturer at Ton Duc Thang University in District 7, Saigon!

By Harry Hodge

So I quit my job. But I got two more.

My son will start daycare. My mother-in-law will move out.

We’re going to take the kids to Canada later in the year.

The Year of the Dog is going to be full of big changes for me. Some people don’t do well with change, but I feel like this is a set of new possibilities that I’m comfortable with.

Leaving a workplace behind

This is actually kind of old hat for me; I’ve done it several times in several places. I worked for one company that had to walk me out of the building on two separate occasions (Metro, in Edmonton and Toronto) as well as a school where they handed me flowers in the auditorium and a couple thousand students waved goodbye (Korean International School, here in Saigon). I’ve had jobs  that ended on cordial terms and others that were like I rolled a grenade through the office. It’s not often that these things end well.

In the case of my previous workplace, I’d been there for more than three years and probably could  have carried in my former role. Sitting on the knowledge for a couple of days was, frankly, kind of gut-wrenching, but I knew these new roles would be the best move not only for myself, but my family.

A variety of factors dictated my departure, including: 1. Money. I’m going from one position that was decent, paywise, to two, without necessarily increasing my work hours. 2. Variety: One is a writing position that I can do remotely, meaning in my case from home (with the occasional in-person appearance). The other is lecturing at a university in my part of town – which I think never looks bad on a CV. But the proximity to home leads me to – 3. Not having to drive anymore. Anyone who’s a Facebook friend knows my posts are generally (A) my kids and (B) Saigon traffic. It’s brutal.


Saigon traffic.

Seriously. I do believe that driving from my home to the airport, and back, every day in smog and just generally lousy conditions was having an adverse effect on my health. I feel like if I’m based in my neighbourhood (and primarily working from home) and making my own hours, for the writing job at least, then I can restore a more healthy work/life balance.

It’s not just about money

Another consideration is the imminent departure of my mother-in-law. Granny has been with us since my daughter Cherry’s arrival, and her leaving is something that was bound to happen sooner or later. A more lovely woman you’ll never find — very sweet and utterly devoted to her grandchildren, even when they drove her nuts. I’ll be taking on a lot more daddy duty with her gone, but at least if I’m based near home I can pick up the kids after daycare (which my son will have to join) and other considerations. Regardless, we will all greatly miss Granny. Con yeu Me nhieu!


Granny will be dearly missed when she departs in March.

Last – we will take the kids to… Canada for a visit! The passports are getting processed. Look for us in autumn! Year of the Dog will be a big one!


About hodgedude

I'm a Canadian journalist and teacher, most recently living in Edmonton and Toronto, now located in Ho Chi Minh City. Graduate of Concordia University in Montreal. I've taught English in S. Korea, pulled rickshaws in Canada, taught at a Taiwanese language boot camp, edited newspapers in China and played a French-speaking Spanish colonel on Vietnamese TV. I also play Australian football. Pick up a copy of issue one of my independent comic, "Getting Lucky," at Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, the Comic Hunter in Moncton, New Brunswick, and the Spotted Cow Pub, 111 Bui Vien, District 1, Saigon.
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1 Response to Year of the Dog will bring changes galore

  1. makeitupnow3 says:

    YAAAYYYYYYYYYYyyy!! Can’t wait to meet the juniors!

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