Paul Christiansen. — Photo courtesy of the authorViet Nam News by Paul Christiansen* Literature transformed what was to be a short meeting to schedule a tour of Kontum into a four-hour conversation. Once we found out we shared a love for books, myself and Huynh, the operator of a travel company in the Central Highlands, spent hours citing and quoting authors. The next day, the standard trip around the countryside quickly morphed into a series of visits to his friends’ homes. At each stop, we were invited into living rooms, offered spreads of food and engaged in thrilling conversations. Hours past after the tour was scheduled to conclude, and I found myself in a home filled with 10 Vietnamese from the north, south and central regions, talking about our hometowns, backgrounds and lives. It was not the first time people here have shown me such generosity nor was it surprising that literature occupied a central part of the experience. “I need to come back,” I … [Read more...] about Literature opens my path into Vietnam
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Viet Nam News Paul Kennedy So due to time differences and the fact I wasn’t going to stay up until 4am to write this column, England will either be in the final of Sunday’s World Cup or not. I’m not going to stick my neck on the line and look foolish by predicting a winner, but I will say this… it will be either England or Croatia in the final. Setting aside winning or losing, this has been a remarkable, if not completely surprising, World Cup for my home nation. Yet despite equaling their best ever finish in 28 years, when they were knocked out in the semi-final on penalties by Germany at Italia 90, there still seems to be a group of ‘fans’ out there not happy. I’m not talking about the loyal supporters over in Moscow, or those who were no doubt crammed into a bia hơi earlier today cheering on those in white, I’m talking about the keyboard warriors, probably lacking in friends and general social skills, who sit in their … [Read more...] about To all you keyboard warriors, GET A LIFE!