This month’s piece was going to be about my visit to Singapore in September for the Grand Prix. I found the city fascinating and exciting in equal measure and was going to write about some of the myths that we managed to shatter on our three-day trip. I was going to write about how the place was nowhere near as expensive as people had had me believe.
Visiting with people who used to live there meant that we found the best places to eat and drink. I would have told you that Clarke Quay had many bars selling beers for the same sort of prices that I would have to pay in bars in District 2.
Then I’d talk about how the hawker street food bar far excelled anything that I have found in Vietnam in five and a half years. The food was better quality, better flavoured, showed more variety and was exceptionally inexpensive.
Then of course I’d have covered the race itself and how it didn’t disappoint and the organisation was sensational.
However then came the news that AsiaLIFE is to cease its print publication after this issue. The news is sad in a world where, increasingly, print media is shrinking and being replaced by online publications. I have really enjoyed writing for the magazine. It has given me a platform to write about almost anything I want without any editorial interference.
I genuinely like the magazine also, it has been a privilege to be involved. I will continue writing for my own website inseasia.com, which has been neglected in recent months due to other commitments. I would like to express my gratitude to Jonny Edbrooke and all at AsiaLIFE for their support and encouragement.
I’d also like to thank the many readers who stop me in the street or in bars to tell me that they have enjoyed reading my ramblings. I have covered a lot of varied subjects over the 20 months that I have been writing. In addition to the Hancock in SE Asia pieces there have been food reviews and other articles about some of the interesting things that happen in this amazing city.
From time to time I have been able to air my thoughts on things that have put a bee in my bonnet. The crash helmets article was really well received.
I am though disappointed to see little difference in the attitude of so many expats who continue to set bad examples, particularly to the thousands of children who go to school in District 2.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of my leaving the UK and moving out here to Southeast Asia. It has been quite a decade.
I was in Thailand for more than four years before having a six-month spell in Siem Reap and then coming to Ho Chi Minh City. The region has given me some amazing experiences and I feel extremely fortunate that I am able to sustain myself by my writing.
So I’ll sign off by saying, look out for each other and be nice. There is too much negativity and bad in the world, without us adding to it. Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular is a wonderful place to hang one’s hat and enjoy life. A kind gesture here and there can make the world of difference to someone.
Thanks for reading. Over and out!