to look back on how they treat themselves.
For a community to be respected, each member must respect themselves.
When I was working in Bangkok, sometimes I came across Westerners [mostly white] talking about Asian girls in the red-light district. Of course, Nana or Khao San was not a good place to debate politics or racism, but the typical conversation I heard was that Thai girlfriends were gold diggers, A Dutch guy we just met said that after he was dumped by a Thai partner. My friend, a Thai woman, questioned: “If she is a gold digger, you…
Some years ago, I wandered around Phnom Penh at night to find a pharmacist as the headache became unbearable. While I was trying to take a pill from the blister pack and took it right on the pavement in front of the pharmacist, two white guys walked in and purchased something. “Do you know what is cheapest in Asia? Air-conditioner and girls!” — They laughed. I overheard, although I had no courage to confront them. I was 1m48 tall and often felt too small to challenge anyone.
Discrimination does not only happen in the US, but it also occurs everywhere…
Vietnamese idioms have one expression, “a frog sitting in the well", which means when a frog sits inside a well, the biggest truth it sees is only a fragment of the sky above. Its point of view is narrowed by the limit of the mouth of the well.
I heard the expression thousands of times before truly understanding it, in the pandemic. Many people have been struggling for almost a year with their problems of job and family and lockdown and healthcare situation. I am no different. I cannot return home from an afar foreign country. My visa expiration stops…
I sat in my friends’ kitchen in Santiago de Chile, watching the TV playing some political ads about voting for a new constitution or not.
Chile’s constitution has never changed since the dictatorship of Pinochet that killed at least 3.100 people and tortured about 29,000 Chilean in the era of horror. In one of the ads on TV, a father said: “A new constitution is good, my son. However, we are busy fighting Covid-19. We are busy building our lives better. It is not necessary for a new constitution at this time, my love.”
The ad ends at the part…
As a Vietnamese citizen, I should have been proud that the country has dealt with Covid-19 neatly and nicely. However, it is not nice at all when the government abruptly closes the border since February 2020 without letting its citizens return home.
Thousands of exported workers have cried for help from far-away countries when they could not return home amid the pandemic. Families and even pregnant women could not find a humanitarian flight home to deliver their babies after they were trapped elsewhere in the world when the border closed. With me, a seasonal tourist trapped in South America, there…
He was sentenced to twenty years of boredom.
Surfers could not be bored standing in front of waves
The last resort of human being
The desperate crave out of boredom
does not need to be guided by heaven
or by a birthmark on the skin
or by the beauty of weapons.
Boredom was crushed in the forceful waves
under the power of nature
drowned by the vibrant white bubble of wave tips.
out of human limited imagination.
Getting on a wave, Leonard could stand up
like a God
He could cherish the first stand on waves
the first stand set…
Baking is not a usual thing for an Asian who only eats rice and noodle all her life. Plus, she does not know how to cook.
First, a tremendous amount of motivation was summoned in a forgetful and chaotic weekend, when I decided to break my norm and try something “dangerous”.
I have never used a gas baking stove before. This added up the anxiety with the fact that my finger was burnt once when I played with my American friend’s stove in her house.
In Vietnam, we walk out on the street, and the bread stands are there. We…
I experience both sides of the spectrum in a female body.
From 18 -26 years old, I was fat.
“Fat” means 20kg overweight according to my body mass index. I experienced back pain, knee pain, and neck pain due to the bodyweight I carried on the small spine. My belly was more significant than my breasts, which turned into a joke among my friends. My skin was rough and dark due to the fast-food diet. My back was hunched because of my bad working posture. …
I spent a whole month staring at the forest in the lockdown in Chile. Nothing else.
The darkness behind lines of trees, the green wall of leaves that changes patterns at dawn and dusk.
Taking a walk inside a forest’s deep and dark was not much of an attractive idea, and a city person like me indeed had a hard time amassing enough courage to venture into what I thought up as “the unknown.”
The forest reminds me of something similar in the past. Once, when I was seven, I lived for some time at the edge of a forest…
On the Day 125th, I picked up pieces of glass on the floor.
The night before, I dropped the wine glass from the bed and fell into a dull dream, in which I was walking on the edge of a black hole in the dark and boundless cosmos. I wished it were a dream, until I opened my eyes, gained some consciousness and adjusted the present to acknowledge that my life was actually falling into a black hole in reality, not a dream for the sake of it.
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their…
A surfer, newbie climber learning to be a writer.