This year my writing goal is to write my heart out with my eyes and head on an endgame.

These series are going to be fun and challenging for me to get up and going, maintain, and sustain. Frankly, it’ll be a minor miracle if the rules stay the same by the end of the game! My guess is that it’ll probably bleed over into 2016, and I’m totally cool with that, if it’s still fun, interesting, and informative.

All in all, it’s nice to have a groundplan for the whole thing.

As for the topics…

It’s like flipping a coin, and while it’s in the air, you suddenly know what you want it to be. I’m beyond excited to get working on these, and your votes really reflected what I was interested in – although I voted for Rice Dishes over Conversations, because I’m just that person.

A big THANK YOU to all of you that voted in my first-ever reader poll! It was fun seeing if anyone was that engaged with my blog (answer: …there’s potential!).

The question was, what 5 topics should I focus a series of mini-posts on? The answers?

From Market to Table

This seems like the most fun, and I’m anxious to get started! I’ll be buying a fresh ingredient at market in the morning and preparing it for a meal the same day. Fresh is the key. I’ll be aiming for a blend of attempts at traditional dishes and psycho comfort dishes, according to my brain-needs. Get ready for some fun, basically.

Vietnamese Customs

There are so many little things that you see every day here, things that are just like “what the…? weird.” and then the light turns green and you and 50 other bikers are off in a cloud of haze before you can process. This will be my attempt to observe and understand some of the tiny things we foreigners encounter and puzzle over every day.

Conversations with Saigonese

This one is a bit out of my natural comfort zone, but I guess this is where the magic lies, eh? Here there be dragons (and they look like dog-lions)! I’m defining ‘Saigonese’ as people that live in Saigon; sometimes the stories about how outsiders came here are just as interesting as the locals’. I’ll attempt to elicit a wide range of backgrounds and types in this series.

Cafes

Ah, back to my comfort zone. I’m not even going to lie, I started writing entries in this series even before I put up that poll or announced the project. There are an awful lot of really magical cafes in this city, and they come in all stripes. It’s actually kind of amazing that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point. The hunger for coffee and fruit juices amongst the denizens of Saigon is apparently infinite.

Soups

Another one I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble populating – there are at LEAST 30 different kinds of soup I see on a regular basis, and here’s the series I’m going to use to justify trying as many as possible and writing about them!

REVISED!

Vietnamese Dates/History

No, I won’t be posting lucky young Vietnamese dating profiles… as fun as that would be. Instead, I’ll be taking a date from Vietnamese history and giving us both a clearer picture of what happened, why, and how modern Vietnam was changed because of it. Vietnam has a fascinating and tumultuous history, and I think we will both find this an enlightening and interesting topic.

So!

Keep your eyes peeled for these to start in the next few weeks. I plan to cycle through the topics to keep me (and you) interested – I think 30 cafes in a row might just make my eyes glaze over. And, frankly, I’m going to have to find 30 Saigonese to interview now (thanks for that?), and that means talking to people and being social.

If you have suggestions for customs, cafes, market items or soups, or know someone interesting (like you!!) to interview, please drop it in the comments or email me – I’ll need all the help I can get filling out these lists!