Year 2013 In Review

Gone With The Oatmeal.

Forget being gone with the wind. I began 2013 at Papa Foods Restaurant, in Tỉnh Bắc Ninh, Vietnam, for two weeks. Around the the middle of January, ventured with a new Vietnamese female friend to look for English Teaching jobs in Hà Nội, where she is from. I think her name was Dieu. Maybe it was Anna, but not the Anna from Saigon. So, I was working for food at Papa Foods from Tuesday, the 4th of December, 2012, until the second week of January, 2013, or around that time. Tyler Capp was there. He wrote an article about me. I was The Guy That Didn't. That is true. I didn't do drugs, sex, alcohol, excessive college debt, etc. I didn't let my inability to talk to keep me from global travel. The list goes on. I went to Vietnam to meet Joy Sanchez, to teach at New Star: address: Số 116 Nguyễn Gia Thiều/Lê Văn Thịnh (streets), Suối Hoa, Bắc Ninh (BN) City, Bắc Ninh Province, in the country of Việt Nam (VN) of Jimi. I also came to Vietnam to travel, live, write, grow, experience. Around Christmas 2012, Joy returned to the Philippines to see finally reunite daughters.

leaf pagoda
Leaf Pagoda Students


January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December


Drawing - Fun - Hat - Name - Oatmeal English - Pop Culture - Resume


I went to Vietnam on Thursday, the 29th of November, 2012, to work at the New Star Language Center, in Bac Ninh, but that school changed their mind, it seems. So, we split. The owner of Papa Foods, Andy Nguyen, employed me. I was paid in food. Great meals. We were like a family. They taught me some Vietnamese. The rice was so good. The food might have been better than the food I had later on in Saigon. Andy's wife was an excellent cook. We had many adventures. They had a karaoke room. I remember singing Hotel California. Vietnamese liked American songs. Andy said he knew how I felt living all alone in Vietnam as he once lived for many years in California, I think, and possibly other places in America as well. I slept there with the other male waiters, cooks, staff. I swept, washed dished, mobbed, scrubbed, cleaned, helped out, during those roughly six weeks there.

2013-06-22 - Saturday - Kiwi Coffee - Q.Tan Phu HCM VN JA - 1013055_604009102966802_1634754157_n.jpg
2013-06-22 - Saturday - Kiwi Coffee - Q.Tan Phu HCM

Chronology of My Biography

1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's - 1960's - 1980's - 1985 - 1986 - 1987 - 1988 - 1989 - 1990's - 1990 - 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000's - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2015 - 2018
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Papa Foods

Sometimes, I taught some people English, here and there. I was also looking for work. There was another American English Teacher who rented a room in that same building. He was friends with Andy & Filipino Joy. They all were friendly to me. They all tried to help me as much as they could. They gave me a lot of advice. I learned a lot of things. I lived in Hanoi for about 2 weeks with 2 brothers. I continued looking for work in Hanoi during that time. We went around and met a lot of people in Hanoi during that time. I was on websites like Tagged, Facebook, and Couch Surfing, advertising myself, talking about my life, problems, prayers, concerns. Too often in my life, online, I've came across as too emotional, too negative, complaining all the time, dwelling in the past, excessively. I've appeared overly defensive and rightfully so, I'd argue. Over the years, I've been learning to better sell myself. I've set myself to fail at times. I've sabotaged myself, possibly on purpose at times. My arguments for hurting myself was always rooted in protecting myself from going viral too quickly. I was always feeling like something bad might happen if I became too famous too quickly. I felt like I was not ready to be known more so by millions of people, potentially. A lot of people knew me in high school and more so in college. But then I started thinking that I needed to have more money first, before getting too big. I wanted to make sure people knew that I was human. I wanted people to see that I was not perfect. So, since like 2009, I started consciously trying to be more transparent.

2013 pagoda or 2014
2013 - Leaf Pagoda - Go Vap District - Saigon

Smooth Criminal

Over the years, I transitioned slowly towards of being too much like Simon Cowell of American Idol, in regards to maybe being too honest, too strong, too negative, too demanding, on what I wanted the world to be, in trying to to force people to think, feel, like, believe, act, and know what I knew, what I did, and everything. During my twenties, I grew in my confidence to preach, to yell, to forcefully persuade through debates, through alleged arguments. However, since like 2016, I've been transitioning away from being too forceful and towards a more subtle, more balanced, position between two extremes. But still, regardless of my overall arch, my overall story, my character development (or underdevelopment), in 2013, I was in the middle of all of that drama, of how I was going to publish myself both online and offline. I was concerned with a bunch of things. Too often, I was concerned possibly too extremely with hypothetical potentiality of the future.

2013-06 - Dalat City Trip - JA & 3 Girls - 1465213_547058605389101_746535949_n.jpg
2013-06 - Dalat City Trip - JA & 3 Girls

I wanted to play it safe.

I wanted to try my best to not waste my time. During my first two years in Vietnam, I was generally too strong. I'm pretty passionate when I talk, but that may not translate well to the Vietnamese for two reasons. First, they may not always understand English well enough to understand what I was trying to say. Second, my passion can be translated as anger, negativity, etc. Sometimes, I got emotional, too. So, I gave out mixed signals. I played hard to get in my relationships, friendship, in Vietnam, in a variety of ways. I was too strong at times. My thought was that I should scare away as many people as possible in order to weed them out. I wanted only the best people to survive the fire. I was doing that for two reasons. First, I wanted to teach English to the best people. I decided to find the fastest ways to interview people, to get to know people. I expressed myself, verbally, artistically. I told people what I thought about life. I was passionate, loud, expressive. I told people exactly what I thought about all types of topics like religion, culture, politics, morality, history, hobbies, sports.

2013-06-10 - Monday - FYG Q11 Class - 977141_519581878107570_1555179168_o.jpg
2013-06-10 - Monday - Fellowship English Club - District 11

I would get heated.

I would encourage and push others to argue back, to debate, because I love that. I love philosophy. I love talking. But many things didn't translate well. Second, I was hard on people because I wanted to leave a lasting impression on them, not of me but of what I was trying to teach them concerning life and everything. All my life, I've been that way, especially during and after college. To this day, I still have that passion, that fire, but I reserve it a lot more now that I'm more mature.


Museum Jungle

The owner of a museum cafe, Hòa Bình, met me at a museum, during an event, in Hanoi. He drove me in his car as he went back to Hòa Bình, on like a Thursday night. I was teaching English to him and to his staff for about three days, until Monday morning, I'm guessing. After that, I went via a bus to Dieu's hometown in Thanh Hoa for a week where I taught people English until Saturday, the 9th of February, 2013. A bus took me back to Hanoi. Because stores were closing for the Chinese New Year (Tet), many of the hotels were closing around 5 PM, in order to allow staff to return to their hometowns for the holidays for a week or longer. But after walking around with my bags for three or more hours in sandals, I found a hotel room for like 400.000 VND ($20) a night. I slept there because I didn't want to return to Papa Foods without a job. Papa Foods was like my first home in Vietnam. I didn't want to disappoint them. I told people on Facebook. A random Saigon girl, who met me in person in Hanoi in like January, invited me down.

2013-07 - Q12 - Group Photo Dinner - 1184970_547058632055765_1654165301_n.jpg
2013-07 - District 12 - Dinner With New Friends


So that Sunday, the 10th of February, 2013, I hopped on an airplane like around 5 PM. It took like an hour to arrive in Saigon. She picked me up & drove me to her parent's house in the Tan Binh District of Saigon, AKA Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). On my birthday, the next day, we went to their hometown about ten hours outside of the city towards like Dalat City for a week. Early Sunday, the 17th, I was back. Kathy met me that day in Saigon, drove me around. I thought she said she wanted to help me out.

2013-11-07 - Thursday - Three Guys Q.8 Or Near That Dinner - 1461518_531527313608897_375517967_n.jpg

So, I decided to let her.

Kathy was trying to help me find work. Both girls helped me look for work. They both helped me a lot as I was new to the biggest city of Vietnam. I started working at New Star English Center in Tan Phu District during like the first or second week of March through to like August. Started working for Tan Van Language Center on like Friday, the first of March, through until like June. I rented a room from Kathy at 753 Nguyễn Duy, P.12, Q.8, TP.HCM from Wednesday morning, the 20th of February, 2013, until Monday, the 8th of April. After that, rented a bed at the Saigon Balo Hostel at 203 Pham Ngu Lao Street in District 1 (Q.1), until May. So, early in May, rented a room at 191/37b Võ Duy Ninh, P.22, Q.Bình Thạnh, until mid August. After that, rented a room in Tan Binh District for like a week and then another room in Go Vap District for like a day. After that, rented a room with a Vietnamese named Rick in District 12 from late August until late September. Rick would learn English while listening to videos of Hillary Clinton, for example. After that, rented a room at 553/2/19 Lũy Bán Bích, Phú Thạnh, Q.Tân Phú, from late September until early November. After that, rented a room from the Fellowship Youth Group (FYG) at 544 Võ Văn Kiệt, phường Cô Giang, Q.1, from early November until like March, 2014.

2013-06 Dalat Girl 01.jpg

Dalat City

I went with the Tan Van Language School staff to their annual week-long fundraiser vacation trip to Dalat City in June. The twist is that it wasn't a paid vacation. I had to pay. I took some photos with a bunch of people during the trip. We saw flowers, waterfalls, markets.

fyg group

Fellowship Youth Group (FYG)

I first met Jolie Nguyen and her friend of FYG in April at a cafe. I started volunteer with their English club once a week. I think it was on Monday nights. In November, they started paying me a little. I worked with them until 2016.


Famous High School

One day, while riding my bicycle home to district 12, while riding through Tan Binh, an older Vietnamese motorcycle taxi driver, like in his late 50's, started asking me if I was American, if I was a teacher, while we were both on the road. Yeah, that's me. So, he invited me to meet his friend, a manager of an English program at that famous high school named Nguyễn Thượng Hiền. I thought the name of that school was Nguyen Thi Hien or Nguyen Thien Hien. But my bad. I forgot how to spell it.

nth tan binh Nguyễn Thượng Hiền nguyen thi thien hien high school tp.hcm saigon vietnam oatmeal joey arnold oja english teacher giao vien tieng anh
2014 - January - English Class - (September 2013- January 2014)

Nguyễn Thượng Hiền

So, back to the story. So, like the next day, we met and I was hired to work for them from Late September, 2013, until late January, 2014. I started attending the Drink & Talk English Club as early as maybe April. Met a Vietnamese girl there in September who was back home on vacation from college in like California. She invited me to teach English to her younger sister, Lisa, and neighborhood kids, in Thu Duc. So, I taught them and also an adult class from September 2013 until like June 2014. The children class had about ten kids around the ages of eight to twelve. They wanted to have a class for their younger kids, ages two to eight. So, I taught them a few times but then they said that the younger kids weren't ready for it, they're too young. The adult class lasted for a few months. The regular kids class continued until the summer of 2014. I made some videos of the classes there. I also started attending the English Club at Grace Cafe a few times in 2013 and possibly a few times in 2014.

leaf pagoda class

The Leaf Pagoda

While living in District 12, I started going with my roommate, Rick, to an English club at the Leaf Pagoda (Chua La Go Vap) in the Go Vap District, late in August. I would go there each week, help the English Teachers teach English. They asked if I wanted to volunteer teach a class. I agreed. So, my class met for like two hours per class on Saturday and Sunday nights starting at like 07:00 PM. I was teaching for free but was then given around 2.000.000 VND ($100) in December when they heard that I lost my bicycle at the 23/9 park which cost me like $150 early in December. A few months earlier, I lost my $100 bike at the Saigon Balo Hostel. Before that, I had a electric bike that Kathy told me to get in like March. In like April, that bike was donated to Kathy's friends without my consent.

2013-12-12 - Thursday - Bike 3 - Vietnam - Asama AMT 61 26" Warrior Mountain Bicycle $150 APX - Stolen like on the 3rd apx -1493323_548506731910955_269844182_o.jpg

Lost My Third Bike

2013-12-12 - Thursday - 11 AM ICT - 23/9 Park - at the bus station near New World Hotel, my bicycle was stolen. I told the police and they did nothing. I wrote about it on Facebook. Some days later, when I was at the Leaf Pagoda, the manager gave me an envelope which contained over 2.000.000 VND ($100) which came from my students there in order to help me get a new bike. At first, I didn't know what the money was for. They didn't exactly say at first. They were not always able to translate everything, all of the time. The manager gave me the money and said "Salary." He probably used the wrong English word. He didn't speak English, except for a few words a few times. The money was probably just a one-time donation. However, at the time, I was confused. He said salary. And other people might have agreed that it was a salary. I talked to a few different people about it during that time. I sent emails. I tried calling people. I kept on asking different people at that pagoda from December, 2013, through to like April, 2014, about that. I was concerned because I wasn't able to get a clear answer. I felt like I got conflicting responses from students and from the staff. I even made a video about it. YouTube terminated at least two of my channels, along with thousands of videos. So, I may not be able to show you what happened.

class Thu Duc District kids

I made videos about it.

I wrote about it. I told everybody about it. I was hoping that somebody would say, "Sorry, the money is not a salary. The manager must have used the wrong word. The money was just a one-time donation." I would have been fine with that response. I just wanted them to be honest about what happened. I felt like they changed their minds, like others have in the past. I felt like they were going to pay me a salary and then decided not to. So, I was hoping maybe for a response like, "Yeah, we paid you one time in December. It was a donation. It was also a salary. Some of us wanted to continue paying you each month. But we are not going to do that now. But that was the plan. But we decided not to do that."

guitar song binh thanh i like your teeth oatmeal joey arnold vietnam oja ja

I could have continued teaching for free.

When I told people about this, people thought I just wanted the money. On one hand I wanted money. But I also wanted honesty, transparency, more importantly. So, that was like big drama.


I'm known for that.

Some people may have saw that in bad light. I made one video where I go to some of the staff at that Buddhist pagoda and I began yelling at them about the lies they were saying, apparently. I'm not totally sure, even now, if they were purposely spreading lies about me. Some of them were spreading rumors about me that were not true. During my five years in Vietnam from 2012-2017, this happened. Some people started false rumors, slander, gossip, fake news, accusations, hearsay, allegations, etc, relating to me, and others would spread it around. You could argue that they were not all completely guilty of starting the lies, etc. Some of them might be guilty of continuing the lies if that counts. In December, some of my students took me on their motorbikes to their hometown in Long An. We made some funny videos there. We went fishing. It was delicious. The pictures are probably online somewhere. I met a lot of people in 2013, including Thục An Lương. There was some drama but also a lot of fun. A lot of good happened. Attended some churches that year as well.

2013-11-17 - Sunday - HOLA Got Talent 2 - JA & 2 Girls - 1489092_547058528722442_1497722342_n.jpg

HOLA Got Talent 2

2013-11-17 - Sunday - District 1 - I was invited by somebody from like Facebook to come to this thing which was held at the Sống Xanh Cafe - Live Green Cafe. Address: 64 Ho Hao Hon, Co Giang, Q.1, TP.HCM. You can see me in this picture. Their first talent show from the previous year probably had some foreign judges judging by the pictures and videos I've seen of the first event. I performed with a guitar. I played some songs, I think, like my Never Let Go song. I think that is what I did. I don't remember if was a judge or not but I probably wasn't. The show was around 11 AM. Afterwards, we got some pizza at like Pizza Hutt or Dominoes or some other American pizza restaurant near Bui Vien Street. They invited me to join. The pizza was good. I made some new friends, like Angela. at that event but I'm not sure if I saw them much after that. I told them that in Spanish, you say "HOLA" like "OH LA." They said that their English club, HOLA, is not a Spanish word and that is why they pronounce it as "HOLE-LA." I was possibly too strong on my observation. By the way, some of my photos are still on Facebook. I'll continue to download more of them as often as I can, assuming that they don't delete them first. Sometimes, I'm too strong because I'm scared of losing people, things, pictures, videos, western civilization as @Stefan.Molyneux always says, etc. You know, because I've lost so many videos, pictures, etc, because of the censorship. It's tough. But at the same time, is that an excuse towards being too strong? That's an ongoing question in my life.

2013-08 - Dexter Screenshot at 2018-12-13 09:49:08.png

Year 2013 In Review

Published in December of 2018 - By Oatmeal Joey Arnold - @JoeyArnoldVN
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Timeline Map

2018-12-12 - Wednesday - 11:33 PM LMS - Year 2013 In Review
2018-12-14 - Friday - 03:11 AM PST LMS - Published

Kool English With Cool Kid

2012-12-10 - Tuesday - Kool English Club - Go Vap District]()

cool english

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