HCMC Dining Guide

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Writer's Block

Since returning to Saigon this past weekend, I haven't been able to think of a single Vietnam-related thing to write about. Part of the problem is that I'm still thinking about things I did, saw, and heard in the U.S., but I'm not particularly interested in discussing those thoughts here, though there is a lot I want to put into word form.

Another issue is this: I've become comfortable with Vietnam. Obviously I'm far beyond the 'OMG EVERYTHING IS AMAZING!!!1!' stage that strikes everyone when they first arrive here, so there's no longer any need to write about every strange new thing I see or experience. This isn't Vietnam 101 anymore, and I don't even blink when I see five adults on one motorbike or children playing soccer in the middle of a highway. I'm pretty familiar with many aspects of life here, especially in Saigon, plus I've already covered a lot in older posts. I could post pictures that would certainly entertain people who have never been here before, but 1) I'm not going to walk around with my camera, since it will probably be stolen, and 2) I've never been comfortable photographing people going about their daily life. If I was mowing my front yard back home and a Vietnamese person walked by and started taking pictures, I would be pretty annoyed. I'm sure many here feel the same way when you take a picture of them preparing banh cuon or trying to keep a bookcase perched on the back of their moto steady. Plus, it would be hypocritical of me to complain about not being perceived as a local, only to go around taking pictures like a tourist. I also don't want to complain about things I don't like too many more times, because that just gets repetitive.

I do plan on writing my first full post in Vietnamese sometime in the near future, I'm just not sure what the topic will be. Something simple, that's for sure. Beyond that I don't have any ideas at the moment. Right now I find that my main creative inspiration comes from traveling. Saigon is home at the moment; I'm not on a trip, and the days are often somewhat mundane. That isn't a complaint, it just means there isn't always material to cover.

In looking at other Saigon/Vietnam blogs it seems that some people are interested in the personal lives of bloggers, particularly their romantic travails. I tend to be a pretty private person though, so while I'm willing to talk about work or what I did on Saturday night, I won't be discussing the gory details of chasing after a girl or anything like that. Not that I have any semblance of a romantic life at the moment, anyway.

So, what does all of this mean? I'm not quite sure, to be honest. For now posts will probably be less frequent, though I will certainly write whenever something springs to mind. I suppose another problem could be that I've never had an overarching goal for this blog. It began as something for my family and friends, but has progressed far beyond that. I certainly didn't expect to be here over two years later, still posting, with over 100,000 pageviews. Since I'm too lazy to keep a written diary, in many ways this has turned into an online diary. I've covered everything from animal welfare in Vietnam to getting propositioned by gay men in Goa. Obviously that is one of the nice things about running a blog - you can write whatever you want with no editorial oversight, audience be damned. Perhaps, though, it's time to focus this thing a bit more. We'll see. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  1. Are you talking about me chasing after girls? Hahhaha. Who else has less shame?

    1. Haha, yea your blog was one of the ones I was referring to - I do enjoy reading it, I just prefer not to cover that stuff.