#OurNewNormal | Ryan Patey of Saigon, Vietnam

Image contains two equal panels. In the right-hand panel, there is a photo of a man in a video conference. Just a little to the left of the man, there is a small photo of a similar looking man with a white border around it. In the left-hand panel, there is white text on a pastel green background that says “T.O.F.U. Talks #OurNewNormal Episode 03 With Ryan Patey of Saigon, Vietnam”.

Although I’m certainly not running out of people to interview for #OurNewNormal, a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series, I did decide today to chat with a very close friend about his experience here in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Not surprisingly, a lot of what he mentioned is similar to what my new normal is like here in Saigon.

Basically, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Speaking of saying things, you can find more of Ryan’s thoughts on the pandemic and Vietnam’s place in it on his Medium page here.

To find out more about Ryan, check out the following:

Website | Twitter | Instagram


Although the interview was originally done as a video chat, you can now listen to it in an audio-only format available on most podcast platforms, as well as below.


Ryan #1: Hello everybody, and thanks for joining me again. For another one of the #OurNewNormal sessions as part of a T.O.F.U. Talks limited series that I’m doing to try and give people a glimpse into the COVID-19 pandemic experience from around the world. I’ve been talking to a lot of vegans that I know, and some people that I’ve actually never even been able to meet, but I communicate with online and I’ve also been able to catch-up with some close friends and people that I’ve known for a long time now. In fact, today I’m lucky enough to be able to interview someone who I’ve probably known the longest and I’m happy to hear from them, and I’m hoping that what they bring to the table for their part of the world will maybe be something you connect with or learn from. So, on that note, could you please introduce yourself?

Ryan #2: Sure. I think we do have a lot in common like you said. My Name’s Ryan Patey, and I’m the publisher of T.O.F.U. Magazine and a full-time traveller.

Ryan #1: Yeah, no. I think we do have a lot in common, and I definitely agree with you on that. So, where are you now?

Ryan #2: I’m in Saigon, Vietnam. I’ve been here off and on for about three years now

Ryan #1: Okay. And so, since you’ve been there for a bit, what sort of measures are in place in your area, and do you feel that people are complying with the stuff that is being put out there by the government?

Ryan #2: Compliance kind of depends on who you talk to. And, as for the measures, there’s been stuff in place since about January. It’s been kind of a long-term sort of bunch of changes, but the numbers have been really good. And so, hopefully things will continue that way. But I mean, yeah, masks are mandatory. Lots of travel restrictions…

Ryan #1: It sounds like, yeah, stuff has been happening there for awhile now. I’m happy to hear that things seem to be going relatively well. On that note, how have the measures impacted you? You know, obviously, you’ve had to deal with some changes. So, you know, how have you been coping with this? What is your secret to keeping yourself sort of positive and motivated during this pandemic?

Ryan #2: To be honest, things have been pretty good. Because of the low number of cases, I’m not too afraid. Otherwise, I’ve just kind of trying to be productive. Talking with a lot of friends and family, and trying to keep things going with the magazine. Yeah, I think that’s about it.

Ryan #1: Okay. I’m glad to hear that things are going relatively well. I hope that continues. So, looking forward to kind of, you know, when this all ends, which obviously it’s going to happen in different ways in different countries and everything. Maybe, hopefully, Vietnam is kind of closer to that than some other places that I know of, but when this does end, when we kinda get the green light to go out into the world and act, you know, normal, what do you, what do you think you’re gonna take from this experience? What do you think you’ve learned? And what do you hope that the world learns? How do you think, or, how do you hope things change after this tragedy is kind of, just a part of history?

Ryan #2: I think for me. I’m going to try and talk more with friends and family. Being socially isolated has kinda pushed that importance for me, and I really hope that the world, kind of, learns to appreciate, you know, frontline workers and so many other people a lot more. More compassion, basically.

Ryan #1: Yeah I, not surprisingly, I agree with you. I think, I feel like we’re on the same page in a Lot of ways. Hopefully, hopefully, that’s true. Hopefully that stuff like that will happen.

Ryan #2: Hopefully.

Ryan #1: I’m glad to hear that, you know, that you’re gonna maybe take something from this positive. For now, I guess I just want to say thanks for sharing your part of the world with everybody and I hope that people get something out of it. Maybe sometime, when we’re able to go to cafes and stuff, we’ll cross paths. We can grab a drink and chat more. For now though. I guess I could maybe offer you this.

Ryan #2: Yeah, sure. Thanks.

Ryan #1: It’s the least I can do. You’re so kind to join me for this interview.

Ryan #2: It was my pleasure.

Ryan #1: I hope the rest of your day goes well. I guess, yeah, to everybody else, I’ll see you for the next episode,

Ryan #2: Bye.

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