Aside from the very unrelated bicycle 😉, First meetup of Saigon Writers turned out to be an enjoyable encounter, with different characters trying to reach demographic, ehm, sorry Ellen ‘Digger’ Jones, democratic atmosphere ^^.
Due to heaps of free time with nothing to do, I came there earlier than expected, texting Ellen and found her already there in the middle of 20 seat line.
“I booked 16 seats only, I knew people are late and some may not come. If more come we can always drag more chairs.”
Thanks to low expectation on turning up number, we were happy in the small circle. People started to chit chat randomly and introduced about their writing.
“It has been years since I stopped writing frequently”
Then Steven came, asking:
“Is this a group of writers?”
“Well fair enough, we just talked about how rare we write, haha”
The demographic of this democratic event is interesting, with many nationalities (British, Vietnamese, US), some are professional writers like Kris and Huong Thi, some wrote very early like Ellen but stopped upon coming to VN due to tight working schedule, some write short stories and politial essays like Steven, some just write personal journal like me and An, or Trang Pham (who is, by the way, an outbound tour guide in South East Asia). We even had Shandy, a Philipino with perfect US accent and great sense of humor. Shandy wrote a travel blog about her trip to India and now more active in story telling and standup comedy events.
We were also shared a book club (female only) called “Wine and book” in Saigon and about to do research on quiet venues for next meeting and how to combine strengths of members in either freestyle topic or specific topic discussions.
The community is there, depending on how willing we are to interact.
I am given the privilege to be writing here: surrounded by students and non students, with well-selected books to read, water to drink and (big-screen) computers to use in a view looking over Saigon Cathedral. Yeap, somehow big screen computers matter ^^. Now me myself prefer to use the name Saigon over Ho Chi Minh city, in a biased way 🙂