This is not a Hanoi blogPosted: June 28, 2012
Hmm… Why do you need to share this with the world at large? Your posts tend to center so much on yourself and yet I am sure you could do more news analysis – reflecting on and interpretting the significance of events in Hanoi and other current events. Isn’t that what your “our man in Hanoi” domain would imply?
So, okay this is now not a Hanoi blog. At best it’s Hanoi flavoured. It’s my life and thoughts and anything that makes me think or amuses me – with a Hanoi flavour because that’s where I live, work and, now, where half my extended family are based.
I’ve been here six years and frankly I’m bored of most Hanoi blog content. I feel I’ve read all I ever want to read of the usual range of Hanoi blog posts from streetfood to traffic problems. But they’re personal content too – if that’s what people are dealing with for the first time or it’s a particular passion of their’s.
I was just writing about migrants for my next Word column and, in the end, if anything makes you an outsider it’s relating everything to where you live. If you intend to stay here a long time then you have to reach a point where not everything is about your location. Hanoi can’t take credit for all the good things that happens to me and so shouldn’t be blamed for the bad either. Location can be incidental.
As for news analysis, it’s not such a smart move in Vietnam and I don’t feel compelled to push that – any more than I would compell others to. In a country where reliable information is at a premium, having a blog doesn’t make me any more knowing, wise or well-informed than the next man. Especially when the next man too often relies on guesswork or info from those who have their own agendas (and do their own guessing).
The blog is what it is and, inevitably, the longer I stay here the Hanoi flavour will increase as the Hanoi content decreases. Inevitably Hanoi will shape me but I won’t change it.
As for blog content, in the end I only know about my life and what I encounter first hand. It’s a life I feel incredibly lucky to live but it’s just my life and no different, in that respect, to any other expat.