The broken hearts

The broken hearts

Getting up, Mien looked out of the window. The dim sunbeams piercing the thick clouds did nothing to warm the November morning. (Sep 16, 2017)

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Milk flower

  Jul 23, 2017
I finished my breakfast at 8 o’clock with a cup of coffee and the sonata Moonlight. Then I began my working day by reading a scientific report “The Preservation of National Cultural Heritage”. But I could not continue as I was struck by a sneezing fit. I stood up and walked toward the window, looking down onto the street. It was already autumn and Hanoi was drenched in golden sunlight that reflected off the young, nubile students in elegant áo dài dresses.  

The last river boat service

  Jul 09, 2017
Dan Nam is a river passenger boat that sails from Thuong Dan to Xuyen Nam. When Trieu Tai began working on it as a ticket seller, the boat was decades old.  

Our Founding Fathers

  Jun 18, 2017
For a whole year, whenever Hung, a doctor, worked a night shift, his wife Ngoc would also be away from home, but Hung’s aunt Hai wasn’t worried about that. 

Great foresight

  Jun 11, 2017
The weather forecast said that today’s temperature might hit 39 degrees Celsius and that it was the hottest spell in the year of our lord 2016. Worse still ,a power cut plunged the whole town of Đong Thinh into darkness. In the daytime, the eternal hum of the cicadas made the atmosphere even stuffier.  

The old teacher's dream

  Jun 04, 2017
One morning Yen received a phone call from a number she didn’t recognise. “My dear Aunt Yen, do you remember me? I’m your niece Khanh.”  

The Late Gruel

  May 21, 2017
According to local practices, adead person’s coffin is laid in the middle of the house for five nights before being buried. On the first and second evenings, many neighbours and relatives pay homage to him. During the thirdand fourthdays, fewer visitors come and on the last, there isalmost none, except for a few standingvigil. They staylate playing cards, not for money, but to dispel thedreary atmosphere, along with a few drinks. Then deep at night, the host cooksgruelto fight their enemies; hunger and sleep.  

What a quiet ferry landing!

  May 13, 2017
A siren was echoing from the ferry landing. Huong was busy cooking. It was her daily chore, from early morning to late at night. When she lived with her parents, she did field work, and now with her husband’s family, she had to farm. She planted maize, beans, chili, pepper and cucumber. She was always busy, day in day out. But she was used to it. Every woman she knew was in the same boat.  

The Suicide Elephant

  Apr 30, 2017
As I stood on stage for the graduation ceremony of our university one morning, I still thought about the ill-fated elephant in the city zoo from six months ago. The animal’s death was vivid in my mind, while the MC’s introduction sounded totally meaningless. Snapping out of my day dream, I noticed a slender girl in front of me walking off the stage. Looking around, I saw I was alone on stage.  

The fellow-traveller

  Apr 09, 2017
“Here we are! Get off, both of you, please!” the motortaxi driver said. Kha was startled.  

On a slow train

  Apr 02, 2017
At the end of the year, Huong turned 30. Any baby girl born on the last day of the year will be unlucky in marriage, a Vietnamese saying goes. She did not really believe in such things or in fortune-telling, but her destiny had so far proved the saying true. There had been a lot of marriage proposals from many youths, local and urban, far and near, and they seemed rosy at first, but sooner or later, they came to nothing and left her in sorrow and despair. As another Vietnamese maxim has it: At the age of thirty, young men are still in their prime of life, and young women are on the verge of spinsterhood.  

Consultative office No 18

  Mar 25, 2017
“Frankly speaking, I don’t know how to begin my story,” said the caller in a hesitant voice. “You might think it’s ridiculous that a woman of forty like me is still so impracticable,” she added.  

Unforgettable Taste of 'Xoi Khuc'

  Mar 25, 2017
'Xoi khuc', also known as khuc cake, has its name because the cake cover is made by glutinous rice powder mixed with brayed 'khuc' leaves, covering gram and pork.  

Chin Khe mountain range

  Mar 19, 2017
Around when I decided to close Chin Khe Farm for repairs was when the ill-fated tourist came. She told me while pointing towards the highway that she and her friends had been in an accident. Her friends had left for home, but she decided come to this mountain valley.  

A puppy

  Mar 12, 2017
The weather in March was quite unpredictable. Out of the blue, it began raining with a cold wind on a previously calm day. An old woman was looking for a pair of pants for her grandson. This weather was a cold snap and she felt her joints ache.