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Thứ Tư, 24 tháng 11, 2010


  1. To have time to read, write, think and discuss, itself is a luxury.
  2. That thought ran across my mind when I was on the bus, as usual. These days, most interesting ideas come when I am either on a bus or in a shower, because otherwise Im constantly interrupted by facebook. Bad concentration, I know. That’s why instead of taking West bank bus, I took George North, which is 3 times longer for me to get home, just to afford a period of time to think.
  3. I talked to my cousin two days ago. Even though I missed him, I started getting irritated after 10 minutes. He is too friendly to be categorized a relative, and too responsible a friend. So, he is more than both combined together. He came when I called. He was there for my birthday when no one would. He concerned about me, watched me, and did what he could to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. But still, we can’t talk with each other for very long before he said: “Im just asking about your plan, Im not arguing with you” and I said: “There’s no point asking and answering, because no matter what, I won’t be able to convince you and you’ll still enforce upon me your conviction.”
    He always thinks of me as a day-dreamer, and I hate that. He was telling me about his job, how his girlfriend grows impatience as she wants him to change to another job, and how his current job won’t be enough to secure a good family life in future. “A good family life”, in his definition, is a house and a car. He asks about mine, what do I set as goals I need to achieve to prepare for my own family later? I’ve never thought of a house and a car. I just think about how I’ll teach my children, from time to time. I’ve never thought of a husband, either. Family, in my mind, just consists of me and my children. It doesn’t mean I don’t want, or don’t need a husband, it just means a man is too hard for me to imagine, or to set standard upon.

    So, as always, my cousin sighed at my answer (I didn’t see him, I just knew). He asked his irritating questions, just for the sake of asking them and made me succumb to his beliefs. “Do you think you can make good money with your degree here?” “Do you think you will waste all the knowledge you’ve acquired there here?” “You think you’ll teach your children, no, women in Vietnam have no power, that’s their husband and his family’s business”, “How can you afford a good life? What kind of job can provide you that?” I hate it when people try to force their beliefs on me, try to make me live their ways, or try to make me admit that Im wrong. Even my parents never do that.

    But then, I realize that we have grown too different. What we believe in, of course, have never been the same, but they’ve become too far apart. It’s like in summer, I found myself having nothing to say when I met old friends. I don’t know what they know, don’t care what they care, sometimes don’t even understand their language. It’s like when my mom says, “I can’t read what you write”. Sometimes I write in English precisely because I don’t want her to read, but many times, I just express myself better. I was amazed, but didn’t find it funny when a friend pointed out that a sentence in Vietnamese I wrote actually is a translation of my own thought in English.
  4. Then, on the bus, I thought about how people who love me, maybe one day won’t understand me anymore, as we no longer share the same beliefs, ideas and even language. People who understand me, sadly, don’t love me enough. How the adopted country, may someday feel like home, and home may feel alien. Am I changing while everything stays the same, or am I merely a part of the changing world?

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