Etc. – Vân vân

“Date a girl who reads… If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
– Rosemarie Urquico

Nếu bạn muốn cả thế giới và những cảnh giới ngoài nó nữa, hãy quen với một cô gái thích đọc sách. Hay tốt hơn nữa, quen với một cô gái thích viết. (Rosemarie Urquico) Bài viết này sẽ chỉ có tiếng Anh.

I have stopped reading horoscope after making my funny clip You know I’m no good months ago. Until last night, due to insomnia, I opened some horoscope pages again and was happy to read that May 27th (today) and 28th (Tuesday) would be the two most romantic and successful days of May for me.

Waking up in the morning, I realized there was a power cut in my apartment. Then when I came down to the parking lot, I found out that I had lost my parking ticket. And when I stopped by a street shop to pick up my sandals that I had given the previous day to have them fixed, I was charged double price. What a beginning of May 27th!

But these things didn’t stop me from thinking, on my way to work, that I would text my Hannushka that I loved him. How the hell did I get that thought, I don’t know. I just knew that I would need to do it first thing in the morning when I arrived at my office. Whatever consequence, I didn’t really care. So I drove to work in a very good and eager mood.

I was waited in my office by a parent and a student when I arrived. Didn’t even have time to have a sip of water, I started to work with them right away. Then another parent and a student came while the first consultation wasn’t over. So when the first clients left, I had to start another consultation session right away, in the middle of which another parent and student came. Then another parent, then another student. There were about 5 calls that need to be called back. Some parents started to complain and yell when they could not reach me on the phone. They mentioned about responsibilities and services, about accommodation and air tix, about visa and curriculum, about anything that they suddenly had the happiness to complain about. I never thought that this peaceful world of education can be that chaotic.

In no time the clock showed noon hours. On my cellphone there were some unread messages, among which some were from a man that I have been seeing lately. It was a long message, having some words like ‘not ready, shy, pretty, smart, relationship, next step, sorry”, etc. People, do you know what ETC. means? It’s End of Thinking Capacity! My head was muddled with millions of concerns from work so I couldn’t read through it. Whatever, if a man couldn’t understand what I told him, then he couldn’t understand me, then better I called it a stop. How difficult it is to come to terms with a person from a different culture and a different generation!

Then lunch with old friends. I drove out of office in a 40 degree Celsius heat. It’s always wonderful to see old pals when you can talk freely about anything. A beautiful girl friend said that she was re-reading her first book. (It’s always super sweet when people read what you write. And you all can read it here.) I said it’s still the first book but this is the revised edition, which is even better. I, on the contrary, am seeking for my 2nd book. And hell I don’t know when that book arrives!

Afternoon. The office was a total mess. About 30 or 40 calls with questions, need for consultation, complaints, comments, etc. Invoices for summer courses flew like butterflies. Parents and students came in for orientation. Signatures and prints. Concerns and complaints and questions, again and again and again. I felt like I was standing at the peak of a volcano ready for eruption.

The day ended around 8 PM. I meditated for some minutes and decided to let go of anything or anyone that didn’t belong to me. If it’s right, it happens easily and smoothly. If it’s wrong, it’s useless trying to pull and push. It’s okay to let that shy man go. I’m an Aries and I’m a fighter and I’m crazy and I’m passionate, and I need to be with someone who’s tender but persistent and hard-willed and stubborn enough to put a rein on me and put me at ease (Hello? Am I describing a Virgo?). I have no interest in running around pursuing anyone at this boiling point of work.

Today was the shittiest day so far in 2013 for me.  I went back to my family and had a nice dinner with people who love me unconditionally, then got home exhausted. I decided to write this down, because I want to look back at it someday to remember that sometimes life can be that bad and at some stupid point in life you don’t have anyone who’s courage enough to give you a shoulder to rest on.

It’s almost 12 midnight and I realize that I haven’t told my Hannushka that I love him. A weird and inexplicable love. A love that is not a love. It awakes and it sleeps. It’s hidden and it’s forgotten. It doesn’t exist but but sometimes it appears and sheds some lights to my life, then it disappears to somewhere undefinable. I don’t want to spend time to analyze what it is. I let it be. Teddy Hannushka is my etc.

They say a woman should have a time in her prime to be proud of. I’m proud that I’m living myself to the fullest these days. It might not be super smart and well-calculated, but hell, who cares?


Echo of March – Đồng vọng tháng ba

Hanoi in March is sluggish with the feeling that we have to count each hour for the days to pass because the days are gloomy, the weather is unpredictably cold or hot, and everything sweats. Saigon in March is bright sunshine, which is scattered with late afternoon quick rains which wash away the dirt to welcome cool nights.

It’s now March, the girl left Hanoi behind for a business trip to Saigon. She was waiting for her friend under a tree when some tiny white petals fell onto her hair. The very young motorbike keeper said in a deep southern voice: sister, please don’t wipe the petals away, they look so good being left there…

It was 10 o’clock at night. A light rain started to fall then stopped after some minutes. How cool the weather was! How could Hanoi ever enjoy such weather in March… A random poem reads:

The March rain is not enough to soak your hair
Just like me
I’m not enough to make you remember.
But do you know that love is a destiny,
And all my life I have been searching for it.

I’ve found you again on a windy balcony
When petals filled the ground around my feet
A little bit of debt
A little bit of bond
And a little bit of missing
Are just enough to melt us down with our unsaid loving words.

Listen to the echo of March
Listen to the season arriving
Singing the green Spring song of an unmarried lady…

Do you remember what you owe me, girl?

It’s already March.

Girl, you owe me a love story.

We had this tonight - Đêm nay uống cái này.

We had this tonight – Đêm nay uống cái này.

Hà Nội tháng ba uể oải, luôn có cảm giác phải đếm từng giờ để ngày trôi đi vì ngày thường u ám, nóng lạnh thất thường và nồm khắp nơi. Sài Gòn tháng ba là nắng chan hòa xen lẫn những cơn mưa chiều rào rào chóng tạnh, rửa sạch đường để đón buổi tối mát mẻ.

Tháng ba, cô gái bỏ Hà Nội lại sau lưng để vào Sài Gòn công tác. Buổi tối đứng chờ bạn dưới một tán cây, vài cánh hoa trắng nhỏ li ti bỗng rơi trên tóc. Cậu bé trông xe nói giọng đặc sệt miền Nam: chị đừng phủi đi, để vậy đẹp lắm…

10h khuya, trời bắt đầu mưa. Mưa chút thôi rồi lại tạnh. Thật mát! Hà Nội làm sao có được thời tiết này vào tháng ba… Bỗng nhiên đọc được ở đâu bài thơ này:

Mưa tháng Ba không đủ làm ướt tóc đâu em,
Cũng giống như tôi
không đủ làm em phải nhớ.
Nhưng em biết không, tình ta là duyên nợ,
Để suốt đời tôi mãi đa mang.

Tìm lại em bên hàng hiên ngày gió
Những cánh hoa bung đầy xao xuyến chân tôi
Một chút nợ
Một chút duyên
Một chút nhớ nhung thôi
Cũng đủ để mình tan ra cùng lời yêu chưa nói.

Nghe đồng vọng tháng Ba
Nghe mùa về trải thảm
Khúc xuân xanh cô gái chưa chồng…

Tháng Ba.
Em còn nhớ nợ tôi điều gì không?

Tháng Ba rồi.

Tháng Ba.
Em mắc nợ tôi một cuộc tình.

Out of expectation – Hữu duyên

The original article is here. Bài gốc mời đọc ở đây.

Marina Abramovic và Ulay yêu nhau say đắm trong những năm 70. Khi tình yêu đến hồi kết, cả hai quyết định đi hết Vạn Lý Trường Thành, mỗi người xuất phát từ một phía, gặp nhau ở giữa Trường Thành, trao nhau một cái ôm cuối tạm biệt và từ đó không gặp nhau nữa.

Năm 2010 trong một triển lãm tại Bảo tàng Nghệ thuật đương đại New York, Marina dành một phần thời gian để ngồi với mỗi khán giả lạ mặt một phút trong im lặng. Và Ulay, không báo trước, đã đến ngồi trước mặt Marina…

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

Justin Fox


Watching Marina and Ulay’s moving video, I am reminded of Signs. I’ve always believed that in our lives, love happens in ways we least expect it to happen. Xem đoạn phim trên của Marina và Ulay, tôi lại nhớ đến phim “Những dấu hiệu“. Tôi vẫn luôn tin rằng trong cuộc đời này, tình yêu sẽ đến theo cách mà ta không bao giờ ngờ đến nhất. 

Người Việt Nam vẫn nói: Hữu duyên thiên lý năng tương ngộ, Vô duyên đối diện bất tương phùng. Có phải vậy không? As we Vietnamese often put it: If we are meant to be, no matter how far apart we are, we’ll meet again and again; If we are not meant to be, even though we are standing face to face, we still cannot recognize each other. Is that right, don’t you think?