Illustration by Đỗ Dũng Excerpt from the novel by Hồ Anh Thái In this particular state forest enterprise on an island off the Northeasterncoast of Vietnam where nearly ninety per cent of the workers are single women, there is not one who does not know the legend of Tan Dac. It goes like this. Tan Dac was a courageous general under the command of Tan Thuat (*) who was famous for the lightening nature of his attacks against the French colonialists. When Tan Thuat's insurrection was finally defeated, Tan Dac led the tattered remnants of his guerilla group to Cat Bac island. They established a base camp near the passage to the northeastern coast, and from there destroyed many of the enemy's ships. The guerillas were young, healthy and strong and their hatred for the French invaders boiled in their hearts and strengthened their determination to seek revenge for Tan Thuat. They slipped through the jungles and over the mountains, set … [Read more...] about The Woman on the Island
What clothes look good on me
I have spent over 40 percent of my adult life outside of my home country, never content with having my soul controlled by geography, to paraphrase George Santayana. I carry a U.S. passport but it doesn’t define me. I am a U.S. ex-patriot and global citizen who calls Vietnam home. It was during my first visit to Hanoi 23 years ago this month that this country - with its tragic yet inspirational millennia-long history - cast its spell on me. After moving here in 2005, I joined a select group of expats – an estimated 100,000 of them, according to official sources - who live in the midst of 97 million Vietnamese. Love us, love us not As a foreigner, I am one of those strange creatures from a distant planet, walking enigmas who evoke a panoply of emotions, ranging from interest and curiosity to indifference, contempt, and fear. As outsiders, we are sources of income, role models, fonts of wisdom, bearers of all things good, easy marks, and importers of evil … [Read more...] about On the outside looking in: A US American in Vietnam
Viet Nam News by Hồ Anh Thái His name was Ananda, and Ananda means satisfaction and bliss. One morning he went to the director of the factory that stood just outside his village and asked for a million rupees. This sum, he knew, would be large enough to build a great temple with a unique architectural design, the kind of temple that would lure droves of tourists to the village. Until now, tourists had passed by quickly, as if Ananda’s village were located in a wasteland. But the young director—he was the same age as Ananda—refused outright. Wasn’t India already overburdened with millions of temples, an abundance of gods, and a shortage of everything else? No, he would only donate a small contribution to the village charity fund. And when he said “small,” Ananda knew, the young director wasn’t simply being modest—he meant really small. Tiny. And as for the temple fund, the answer was “no.” And that was that. And … [Read more...] about The Man Who Stood On One Leg
Viet Nam News by Cát Lâm After an early dinner, I washed up then went to bed. Yet, I was unable to sleep straight away. I tossed and turned on bed for a long while like I was sick. Whenever I returned to my native village I felt as if I had taken ill. Strangely enough, leaving the place I returned to normal again. I kept this a secret because I was afraid it would make my mother worried. “Why does my summer vacation last so long?” I asked myself. Since the days I went to district boarding-school and then worked for a provincial establishment I had rarely come home for nearly a decade. I thought it might be unwise due to the generation gap between her and me. Whenever facing her I got an impression that I stood on the other side of the wide Mê River without bridges spanning its two banks. When I felt stressed due to work, I stayed in town for months partly because of her and due to being afraid of living in the country. Then suddenly one morning … [Read more...] about Pilgrims Crossing Mê River
Viet Nam News by Robert Bicknell Can changing clubs make a difference in your game as a professional? We read all the time that a well-known Tour pro decided to switch brands, mostly due to a ridiculous amount of money being waved in his/her face. What people do not realize is that many of these pros are not entirely stupid and usually demand that the company make a virtual copy of their old tried and true club, with minimal cosmetic or technical changes, and just a new brand stamped on it. What’s old is new… sort of. But occasionally, the manufacturer might demand the player accept the designs they currently have, modified a bit to meet the player’s requirements. This can be something as simple as weighting, or grinding the sole a bit differently than what is actually on the market. But, almost without exception, once the player has a brand new set of clubs in his brand new bag, his game usually goes completely to hell, at least for a short while. Having said … [Read more...] about Can changing clubs make a difference in your game?