When they grew up, they managed to find good jobs and had their own
families and were soon provided with accommodation, so their living
conditions improved considerably.
In the heady bouquet of Ba Than rice wine, a Phong Dien District
specialty, Mr Hien, slightly tipsy, was holding forth on the ins and
outs of the miracle, and the dozen or so listeners sitting around were
very afraid. A few, who were still skeptical, were amazed at his
storytelling skills and listening with their mouths open.
She was blessed with a good singing voice. But I knew she did not
like singing when she was small. She only sang sometimes at parties with
It was mid-June. The forecast for the day was over 37 degrees
Centigrade for most of the region. In Binh Lang City, it was rather
stuffy. Curiously, its small Cao Street seemed to belong to another
world: hazy sunshine in the beginning of autumn. Sometimes, early in the
morning, a cool breeze coming from the mountains swept over the city
and made people wear warm clothes.
An arc of light that reflected the joy and sadness of a man's life had
gleamed in mother's consciousness and finally focused on the slight
sadness of human existence, a sadness of one about to leave this world. A
life mingled with joy and sadness about to go, an extremely simple but
It was Sunday, so I had no school. Uncle Be asked me to go downtown
with him. At a junction, under a row of towering big hardwood trees, I
saw a lot of people surrounding cages with birds of every description.
Immediately, Uncle Be stopped. Then he proceeded to a bamboo cage with
two birds billing and cooing to each other.
He walked softly to the back of the house. The lock on the door on the
side of the house had been pried open. He became very nervous. He heard
some small sounds and saw light from a torch in the front of the house.
N. and her old mother lived in one of the two adjacent ground-floor
flats. The poor old woman's neighbours could hear her daughter-in-law
nagging loudly all the time.
He received the news of having matriculated as a post-graduate
student in Russia and had one month to prepare before flying out. It
should have been a piece of good news, but he did not feel so happy. On
the contrary, he was somewhat depressed. It was as though he was doing
something in the eleventh hour.
Reaching our condo drive, instead of parking my vehicle inside the
garage, I headed straight for my hometown to stay away from our small
apartment in the huge concrete high-rise. I wanted to avoid the lonely
situation that had reigned over our place for many days on end.