Strong in broken places

I see strength in broken places every day. In people peddling lottery tickets, in pedicab drivers, in xe-om and  conical-hat ladies.

They move about under the shadow of high rises here in Saigon.

Broken limb and broken dream.

Yet I see strength in their struggle.

I see resilience where there should have none.

Death is in no special hurry, writes Hemingway.

A farewell to arms. An invitation to plowshares.

Cultivate and enculturate, learn and love.

I see students pairing up and partnering up.

I see students strive for and take ownership of their future, here and abroad.

Even an eagle needs a push.

Raise the standard (academic) and quality.

Raise the bar and the price. No pain no gain.

Like their African-American counterparts in the US, young Vietnamese are discovering their USP (Unique Selling point): Vietnam Got Talent, soccer,

and fashion (design).

In between 2000 and 2012, I have seen gradual changes: from bicycles to motorbikes, from motorbikes to Vespas, from Vespas to V6 .

Upward mobile.

Skyscrapers that reach out to the heaven.


Touch the face of God.

Show and prove to the world that you exist and make a difference.

Wipe those tears from the children’s eyes. Lift your face to the rising sun and pray that God would have mercy .

Reincarnate or resurrected, active voice or passive voice, just find your voice.

Colonial days and imperial days are over. After darkness comes day light.

The storm that swept through Saigon last week was more than symbolic.

It cleansed the city of impurity and inertia. Now, with a cleaner slate to start over, I expect to see the next phase of growth, of optimism and confidence.

After all, I live here now. My city. When it does well, it rubs off on me as well.

Strong in broken places. Even death is in no special hurry. So why should I.


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