While Charvey and The Final Word were dutifully chronicling the Blog Summit of the three most active HCMC bloggers held last night, I took advantage of my wife being away to head down to the Saxn'art Jazz Club afterward. I got there just in time for the beginning of the first set featuring the virtuoso Vietnamese saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan. Trained at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Tran mixes creative contemporary jazz sounds with traditional Vietnamese music, and is a great showman.
Back at the Blog Summit, charvey in vietnam (Chris Harvey), The final Word...in Saigon (Jon Hoff) and I gave credit to noodlepie for increasing traffic to our young blogs by including us on his Vietnam blog list. But it is interesting to note how quickly a local English-language blog scene changes -- the stars of last year have moved on: noodlepie left Viet Nam for France after 8 to 9 years here. No Star Where returned to the U.S. The rice bowl stopped posting last February. Down and Out in Sài Gòn and Diacritic remain in Saigon, but post infrequently nowadays. And the most thoughtful blog of all of us, Virtual-Doug, has returned to the U.S., but continues to compare Vietnamese mores with American life.
In Hanoi, there has been a slowing of English-language blog postings, with Target Vietnam and Xe Maybe not posting for a long time, and even the prolific food bloggers Stickyrice are slowing down. HanoiMark returned to Canada but left for us valuable archives of his observation of social mores. Our Man in Hanoi continues to grace us with his thoughtful and heartfelt commentary, but he has announced his leaving next spring.
I keep qualifying these blogs as English-language blogs, because we expats sometimes forget that there should be many Vietnamese-language blogs out there too. So while we three expat HCMC bloggers meet for a very staid dinner and conversation, noodlepie informs us that over a hundred Vietnamese bloggers met in Hanoi recently for an "offline party". Be sure to view the YouTube video offered at noodlepie's posting -- we expats are so restrained compared to these fun-loving Vietnamese, who seem to have no inhibitions towards performing for each other. noodlepie picked up the video and chronicle of the event from the Elmoooh's English-language blog, but Elmoooh also writes a Vietnamese blog that has more videos of the Hanoi Bloggers event. Elmoooh describes the event as
"After laughing-guts-out kinky ticklish games in the morning, we headed for lunch before coming back to the everyone-knows-what-it-is "section" Karaoke."
Whoa! Am I out of it or what in my old age? Can anyone translate that for me? I want to get invited to that party next time. No ticklish games with Charvey and Jon for sure, and no unmentionable karaoke, either.