Saturday, November 01, 2008

Report from the flooded city

This morning, for the first time since the deluge I went out to find something for lunch. We were almost starved after finishing everything we had in the fridge.

Rushing through the heavy rain, I reached the open-air market after 30 minutes. It was 8am and the market seemed more crowded than ever. People were fighting, really, for small torn bundles of morning glory and tiny unripe cabbages that were sold at extremely expensive prices. Even onions became a luxury item. Meat was not so expensive but not many women seemed interested in it. During a flood, having rice and vegetables for your meal would be life on heaven!

After a lot of considerations, I decided to have mostly vegetables for lunch despite the high prices. Then a couple of chicken legs cooked with mushrooms, corn and beans made the perfect meal! My bro said: "No more instant noodles!" and he felt great with the things I bought.

Dinner was also good with some very delicious dishes "donated" by my eldest sister She has always been great with her cooking skills. This time, she didn't disappoint us by the fish fries and vegetable salads she made from her dry home. It seemed to be the most interesting dinner we had for the whole week since everybody was present. However, we couldn't feel good anymore when the TV news read "17 died. 2 are students. Damage estimated at VND 3,000 billion (USD 29 million)". :( Too bad! Hanoi has never experienced such a loss caused by flooding before.

Hope for better weather in days to come. Anyway, it is forecasted that the rain won't stop until November 3.

Too much flooding

We're experiencing the heaviest and longest rain ever in the past 35 years! It started more than 24 hours ago and is still pouring more and more water into the narrow streets. The city's now become a river. Evidence below.

I cross the stream...

Proud and pictureresque Sword Lake

Terrible traffic jam which took policemen nearly four hours to clear the streets!

This morning I went to uriversity.

Breaking the waives and surfing forward!

Now I'm terribly hungry. Can't seem to find a place to eat out. ~.~ I should go to sleep instead.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Learning from mistakes

Sometimes mistakes are the best source of advice for you. I have learnt more from my mistakes than achievements. This year I only win a reserve place but have gained a precious experience of applying for a scholarship. It'd be a lie if I said I'm not upset, but at least I have a good tip to better my profile.
When one door closes, bigger ones will open. My best friend told me so. The door has shut before my eyes but I won't give up. I will give it another try. Will strive to enter a bigger door!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

She's in love with a married man

She's been in love with him for a very long time. The man is married with a beautiful wife and two children. For sure he'll never get a divorce and marry my sister. So... why is she so tied to him? How could she do that to her family?

Years ago, she promised not to continue that relationship but now she's still secretly meeting him. Just last month, I saw her having lunch with him. I then had a serious talk to her, trying to persuade her to stop. It was so cruel that a member in my family was intefering with someone's family life. I didn't dare to tell mom since she would've felt terrible if she'd known that fact. However, yesterday's incident was more than mom could stand. She's collapsed. Someday his wife will find my parents, like she did several years ago, and make a fuss about it. That would be a shame to my family.

What should I do now? Talking to her? My brother and I have tried but couldn't seem to change her mind. Forbidding her? I don't know where it could take us. She's got her job anyway.

It's hard to write about all of these. I just wanted a place where I could let out my thoughts and receive advice from you.

I'm so worried about my mother, too. :(

Monday, October 20, 2008

Butterfly Award

I've received the Butterfly Award for the coolest blog from a very very nice friend. Thank you, Ailecgee! Mine is not a really cool one but I hope one near day it will be. hihi :D

Here is the list of Butterfly Award holders. I must confess that I don't know many bloggers so...the list could only be five. :D



Bright Heads



Award holders:

Put the logo on your blog;
Add a link to the person who awarded you;
Nominate 10 other blogs;
Add links to those blogs on yours;
Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs;

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Going to the pagoda

This evening's been a nice surprise to me (and those who know me). I went to a pagoda alone!

Well, the thing is I have never gone to a pagoda alone in the evening since the first day of my life. When still a little kid, I used to follow my parents to some pagodas and temples in our city. I went just because I couldn’t stay home alone. Later when I grew up and was able to look after myself, I stopped those visits. It was not that I didn’t have any belief in Buddha but simply I didn’t have much interest in visiting pagodas.

This evening was quite different though. Having laid the table for dinner, I decided to go out for a while. Immediately the image of me praying in Tay Ho pagoda appeared in my mind, probably as a result of my mother telling me that I would likely be unlucky for the coming days.

I reached the place at around 6 pm. Although it was quite dark, I, as well as some other guests, was allowed to enter the pagoda with a promise to leave soon. Even though I didn’t know how to pray, I prayed for many things. As I was whispering my prayers to the Gods it suddenly dawn on me how relieved I felt, as if I were free from all the stress and burdens in my daily life. How I wished that moment never to end!
After that I stopped to look around. Beautiful indeed! Lying on the bank of West Lake, the pagoda looked like a small oasis of quietness, solemnity and subtlety. The image of willow trees hiding their bodies in the water caught my very eyes. The pervasive fragrance of incense filling the air allured the dry me. This sentiment kept me for a while before I had to leave when it was getting too dark.

But what has it left for me? I came to realize that I have never had the intention to learn about my own family’s religion. Truly, I never did. Interestingly and strangely enough, I only began to notice this after attending a workshop on Chinese religion in a far-away country (!). Now that I know Buddism means much more than the admonitions, phylosophies and rules. I’m also feeling quite embarrassed for knowing more about Confucius than Buddha, just like many other Vietnamese students knowing more about Chinese history and culture than their own. I'll post another entry about this later because there're many things interesting to say.
So...I should stop now. I mean stop writing :D. Sure, I will go to pagodas more often than now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amazing Beijing

It took me three days to make the decision of writing an entry about the opening ceremony of Beijing 2008. Honestly I never had a very positive view of China and everything that's related to Chinese government. I guess that's because the Chinese ruling party has always been acting like our big brother: telling us what to do while killing our fishermen; accusing us of violating their sovereignty (!) while sending more troops to the Spratlys; and broadcasting live the image of the Olympic torch traveling through the controversial archipelago while who owning it is still unclear.

However, in many aspects, the Chinese are really really respectable for their smartness, creativeness and solidarity.

More than anything else, the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony has proved a China with strong economic power, plentiful human resources and most appealingly very rich culture throughout thousands of years of development. In one night, Zhang Yimou and his 22,000 artists (vietnamnet) convincingly made us believe in what we had doubted just minutes before the show: China can make Beijing 2008 a unique, unforgettable event in history.

Out of the many acts squeezed in a 50-minute performance, what strikes me most was the parade of the descendants of Confucius right in the beginning. Those smart-looking students were walking strong steady steps in lines while keeping their eyes looking straight ahead and chanting the verses in a book of Confucius. For me, this image strongly expressed the Chinese’s determination to continue on with the deep-rooted and long lived ideology of Confucianism. Perhaps that I used to attend a workshop on Confucianism and had developed an interest in the field ever since brought about such positive attitude. Anyway, it is no doubt that Confucius is among the most knowledgeable and respectable philosophers that ever lived and that promoting his philosophy is for the sake of the people in many ways.

Later, the marvelous firework show added to the sparkle of the night. Never in my life had I seen such beautiful rays of light in a night sky like that! The Chinese are proud that they were the first to make paper; and now they have every reason to take pride in the fireworks “made in China”. :D

I was also deeply impressed by the torch procession at Bird’s Nest. As the torch bearer was running towards the cauldron, the path resembling a giant book followed his steps to reveal. One step further and the book opened more pages. You could see letters, numbers, and images; the fundamental symbols of mankind’s intelligence being shown as the light was shining brightly and proudly. It was knowledge, more than anything else, that took humans to the place where they are now. It was the message the Chinese people wanted to send to the rest of the world. It was that moment that I could say nothing but “Amazing!”

Pics taken from: