9000 Hours in Saigon. You may not think it’s much, but as someone who’s chronically unable to title his work, I was pretty proud when I hit on the blog title. Now, sixteen months–approximately 11,500 hours–after moving to Saigon, I’m still here, and looking back, I can only surmise that I somehow tapped into some bad juju when I came up with that title. Because this year really has shaped up to be 9000 hours in Saigon. 9000 hours as a prisoner in thanh pho ho chi minh.
The reason I’ve been relatively immobile is the same reason I haven’t blogged in 7 months: work. After a brief tenure as an English teacher, I joined the editorial department of AsiaLIFE HCMC magazine in August 2008. In October, I became the managing editor. November saw the departure of one of our editors. From there, it’s a barrel of monkeys.
Enter December, January and February. The Christmas and Tet holidays. A time when your chances of stumbling upon a snowball fight in Saigon are better than nailing down anything breathing for an interview. An editor’s nightmare. Enter redesign in March. Enter my first cover story in April. Enter a new, considerably smaller budget in June. Enter the Economy issue of July, the production period that nearly broke me.
Thankfully, my will proved sturdier than Vietnam’s export markets.
So now that I’m committed to at least another 6 months in Vietnam and have gotten back on the blog, what’s next? Change the name? Nope. It’s the planned 9000 Hours in Saigon that got me here in the first place (and bad juju aside, I still dig the name). More likely: dispatches from Saigon, un-chronicled travels, future travels (which now seem more manageable).
I should probably get myself a digital camera.