Springtime in Saigon

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Even washing lines look better in Spring

It’s 2015. It’s mid January. And spring is here in Saigon.

In what has become my annual celebration of just how pleasant a time of year it is over here, when so many other parts of the world are either sweltering in their own juices, or snow ploughing their way to the office, I can’t resist once more in proclaiming the bleeding obvious: life is so much easier when you have the weather on your side.

Biking into work these days you are struck by the golden light, the intensely perfumed scents of the orchids and bogainvilleas, and the breeze. The fact that there is a breeze is enough to be thankful for, given Saigon’s notorious humidity track record. The New Year marks the lowest temperatures Saigon will experience until next January – somewhere in the mid 20’s – perfection in my mind, although many locals are already donning their puffer jackets and scarves in protest at the chilly starts to their days.

2015 – no resolutions for me, a year instead to appreciate all that comes my way and to embrace the here and now. I am grounded in Saigon until a UK visit next month, hosting as I am a regional workshop here at the end of the month, and enjoying the novelty of “routine” after a fabulous Christmas break, involving some long weekends away, and plenty of indulgent moments of sheer fun with Florence and Martha.

Perhaps a suitable 2015 resolution after two months absence from this blog (I’ve been peppering the sister site – http://www.definitelymaybe.me – with musings on development issues over the past few months instead) would be to post a bit more regularly.

Let me see…

Meantime, a lazy capture of the last quarter of 2014, which saw me travel extensively, can be found below in the form of pictures. I took to instagram last year, so check out @saigonsays on that if you are similarly hooked.

Wishing you all a very prosperous New Year to come.

September 2014

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View over Bangkok on a work trip home
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The Kowloon ferry, Hong Kong. I was speaking at a CSR Summit. Check out the post: http://definitelymaybe.me/2014/09/17/the-future-of-csr/
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Happy 6th Birthday Florence!
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Martha back at school and in a new (big girls) kindergarten class!
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Back in Islamabad with work. Mountain top dinner! Check out the post: http://definitelymaybe.me/2014/09/29/what-can-care-do-for-business/

October 2014

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Speaking at a conference in Singapore. Post here: http://definitelymaybe.me/2014/10/13/true-power-lies-within/
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A weekend escape to Sapa
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Dawn during a tea plantation visit whilst on a work trip to Sri Lanka. Post here: http://definitelymaybe.me/2014/10/31/sri-lanka-preparing-for-a-future-without-international-aid/

November 2014

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Back in Bangkok traffic for more workshops
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Saigon Raider’s football tournament in Phnom Penh (me, German Alex and German Daniel and a crate of beer Lao in a tuk-tuk)
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Tacloban project visit, the Philippines. Blog post here: http://definitelymaybe.me/2014/11/20/tacloban-exposing-middle-income-country-realities/
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Back in Singapore for more conferences. Clearly I hadn’t washed that morning.

December 2014

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Lemonheads gig at Cargo, Saigon, with “Sluke” and Issy
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Back in Hong Kong for Awards event (and some dim sum)
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Hanoi for long weekend with the Suarez family
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Myanmar work trip, project visit in Lashio. Check out the blog here: http://definitelymaybe.me/2014/12/13/myanmar-bringing-about-change-in-a-frontier-market/
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My final Bangkok immigration queue of 2014
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Pre-Christmas swinging at Saigon Outcasts
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A trio of poseurs at Saigon Outcasts.
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Christmas 2014 is here. Woohoo! Flo with Sarah from the UK
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Skater Girl
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Scooter Girl
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Mui Ne white dunes with Issy and Luke
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Last holiday sunset Coco Beach, Mui Ne
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Last balcony shot of the Christmas holidays

Unseasonal weather…again

A cold snap is due across parts of the UK, days after freakish March heatwaves.  Over here in Saigon we woke up this morning to the aftermath of typhoon Pakhar, which passed through yesterday, several weeks prior to the normal monsoon season, and left many of our local streets looking something like this…

More than the usual pavement obstacles to navigate in Saigon this morning
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