A room of one’s own


“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” – Virginia Woolf


I think anyone who is to write anything must have money and a room of his or her own. Everyone needs a room of one’s own, to read, to write, to be naked, to fuck or just to breathe and to exist in one’s own space with absolute freedom. Fortunately, I somehow managed to find myself a room of my own. During the scorching hot days of Saigon when the temperature reached almost 40 degrees Celsius, I was riding my bicycle around to find a room to live in. I was desperate, and exhausted back then. More often than not, I have wondered why and how we, the human beings, have gone that far in the civilization scale, that we have had all things modern, even post-modern, high-tech, avant-garde, all those things yet millions of young people out there are working their ass off just to pay the rent or to save enough money for a small house. And some do not even have their own as they die. Sometimes I think it would be better for me if I can get a cave of my own, with fresh air, fresh water and a lot of trees around me, which sounds a bit luxurious these days.

Well, finally, I have one of my own. I wanted to write about it two weeks ago when I first moved in the new house. But time flies, as it always does, I have many things to do, but I have completed a few, as I always do. And things have happened. And sometimes I think all are just my things, that who wants to care about a 25-year-old guy moving to a new studio. Or perhaps I am too lazy to type down anything, and I procrastinate, as I always do.

These days have not been as long as they were expected. I was riding around, as if it was the only thing I could do. I watched films, read some books, washed my clothes, went out for dinner, slept a lot, all the normal things that ones could do and usually do during week-ends. I was riding and I thought about how the French language, as regarding possessive forms, concerns about the sex of the objects, not that of the owner while the English language concerns more about the sex of the owner, no matter what that of the objects might be. For example:

French English
Sa maison His/her house
Ses amis His/her friends
Son livre His/her book

It means that in English, you will know whether the owner of that house, those friends and that book is male or female, while in French you do not have that information. Of course French language has derivative forms for adjectives to denote sex of the speaker and such a thing. And I think about the tense imparfait, which can be translated into English as imperfect, and which may be used to express actions in the past that ones are not sure completed or not. The tense could denote the present, and the past, and it can be used to say about something repetitive. It can be everything, it is magical. Isn’t it? Or may it be the way French people are trying to express that everything is imparfait/imperfect?

Once in a while on the road, I tried to figure out what I left behind, and what is ahead of me. But I can see nothing. It was not literally nothing. It was just I could not point out what I really left behind. I could just think of everything passing before my eyes at that very moment. And I felt nothing, I was not happy, I was not sad, I was not nostalgic, I was not morbid. It seemed like I could not name the feelings, or maybe they were not there. I did not know and I did not care.

Sometimes, I thought it would not matter to anyone, anything in the world if I had ever been hit by a car. If I had been, what then?

Then I thought about Prince Siddhartha. I refer to him as an imaginary friend with whom I can talk any time I want. It is obviously not the way he has been usually perceived. He used to be young, and he used to think hard about himself and the world around him, just like me, I thought.

On the way back home, I bought two pieces of chinaware, for which I always have an uncanny passion. I bargained a little with the seller. We talked, and she smiled. At the end of the long day, I managed to make at least one person smile. It was a thing.

Last but not least, I started again with my knitting project.


One thought on “A room of one’s own

  1. I feel truly happy that I accidentally found your blog while randomly searching for methods to practice for the DELF B1, which I’m going to take in May 2017, during a sleepless night (at 4 a.m., to be precise). Like you, I have a passion for the French language. I don’t know why but it resonates with me more than any other languages I’ve learned before do. It’s pretty strange: I used to think that we could only fall in love with people, until I started learning French and fell head-over-heels in love with it, and with the culture from which it originated. I’ve only been learning French for 8 months (4 at the French Cultural Center in Hanoi, 4 self-taught) but I have already imagined myself living a peaceful life in a small French village, ha ha. I regret not getting to know French earlier. If I had, I wouldn’t have chosen a Bachelor’s program in the Japanese Language and Culture. It’s not that I don’t like what I’m studying (Japan has her own beauty, of course), it’s just that my love for French is too big that it casts shadow on everything else.


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