Three blogs and a flyoverPosted: April 2, 2012
Back then, back when blogging was the only social media, well give or take Friends Reunited, the social bit was the links and the comments.
To a certain extent that’s all moved to platforms like Twitter, Facebook and the rest. Most of the interaction now takes place away from the blogs themselves. Does that alter their whole point? A post was written with the comment box beneath it in mind. If the comment box is obsolete does that change the content of the blog?
But links, links are still good. Links are what makes it all go round. Links continue to power Google so we can find all this stuff.
So alongside the extensive blogroll on the right and alongside Vietnam Blogs. Here’s my three most-readable from Vietnam. Two from Hanoi and one from Ho Chi Minh City:
First off Debbie J Clare, sporadic but worth waiting for. Written beautifully.
Secondly, Antidote to Burnout, this is a long standing favourite who I hope we can persuade to blog more. The niche, architecture, specifically modern architecture, works particularly well because as expats we tend to be more impressed by tradition and history. I recall kids at KOTO telling me off for only taking pictures of things they considered old fashioned – ie bicycles, conical hats etc. That said, check out this for a little bit of Old Saigon.
Finally, aimed at the tourist, rather than the expat I do like the Travelfish Hanoi Blog. Again, like the two above it’s written with little comment, neither cooing glee nor tired cynicism. But if you’re thinking of visiting or coming to stay then it’s just about the best introduction I can imagine. Mercifully it avoids CNN GO’s increasingly irritating list format.
I particularly like Travelfish’s Hanoi People section and in particular the interview of Ian Paynton, (he of Oi Gioi Oi fame), particularly his description of last time he left the country when he “thought about Hanoi every day for two years.”
That was me once. Ian is currently working back in the UK and you’d bet on him coming back, not least because he’s become a little bit famous during his absence. No doubt he’s missing Hanoi all over again.
Before he went I had a brief online chat with him while he was chasing me for my Word column. I reminded him that leaving doesn’t mean you can’t come back. Something I am now reminding myself of as I start to cast the net wider as I look for new employment.
And the flyover, the flyover is just a flyover. Snapped on my way to my inlaws on Saturday night. In the West of the city the growth remains incredible. My current employers (I’m working my notice) just opened an English class there aiming to enrol 50 students, now they’re approaching three times that number. I read (a little too gleefully, or is just me?) reports of slowdowns yet the pace of it all seems as frantic as ever (“ These days, Hanoians do not have much to celebrate…”)
To me though, this is how it always was, only more so.