His sordid truth

I was promised to him and got married when I was seven back in Vietnam. He was pensive and moral but has changed since arriving in Australia.

I was promised to him and got married when I was seven back in Vietnam. He was pensive and moral but has changed since arriving in Australia.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – Heartbreak!

I was promised to him before I was born. Back in Vietnam when I was seven, dressed in a long, loose, blue-grey robe, I was guided to make pledges to obey his family’s rules and live a good, model life. At the end of the ceremony to accept me into his family, I was given the Buddhist name ‘Diệu Hiền’ , which meant gentle and meek.

I fell in love with him for I was attracted to him by his pensive and moral characteristics. On full moons, he would invite me over and cook delicious vegetarian meals for me. The smell of sandalwood incense, the smile of the Buddha statue looking down at us, the chanting of Buddhist prayers, the echo of the Buddhist bell, these things filled the air with solemn yet romantic feelings.

At the threshold between the old and new year, when the clock stroked at midnight and the firecrackers exploded noisily in trains, I stood with him among the mass of people. Looking up into the sky of the thick dark night, we prayed to Buddha for a new prosperous, healthy and happy new year. But wait there’s more!

To Hue, with sympathy

For the first time in my life, war and VCs appeared at my doorsteps. (7-year-old hiMe (left), her mother and her late 8-year-old sister. Picture taken over Perfume river, Hue).

For the first time in my life, war and VCs appeared at my doorsteps.
(7-year-old hiMe (left), her mother and her late 8-year-old sister. Picture taken over Perfume river, Hue).

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – First memory.

On Tet (Chinese New Year)’s Eve, the roads were deserted as people retired to their homes in preparation for the ceremony at midnight.

From my bed, I was awoken with firecracker noise as the universe was stepping from the old to the new year and my parents were praying and made obeisance to the Bhuda and our ancestors. But wait there’s more!

The monkey bridge

I think the woman who'd trailed behind us gave the impression that we were her two city relatives who were visiting. I felt a deep gratitude to the sensible protective action of that woman. There are still good people in this world!

I think the woman who’d trailed behind us gave the impression that we were her two city relatives who were visiting. I felt a deep gratitude to the sensible protective action of that woman. There are still good people in this world!

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – The kindness of strangers.

I often wonder how the hellish communist jail would have affected my 15-year-old sister and me mentally and physically, had we been jailed on our first failed attempt to escape communism in Vietnam. But wait there’s more!

The monkey bridge poem

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(Terzanelle-style poem)

<<Story related to the poem>>

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – The kindness of strangers.

A shaky monkey bridge,
On Chinese New Year’s Eve,
In a far strange village.

Two sisters failed to leave,
And their friends were shot dead,
On Chinese New Year’s Eve. But wait there’s more!

Those Scary Moments

There were many scary moments that I can still vividly remember: the "Tet Offensive" in 1968 when VCs exchanging fires with GIs in front of my house, the dying moment of Saigon when rockets were raining indiscriminately onto the districts, ....

There were many scary moments that I can still vividly remember: the “Tet Offensive” in 1968 when VCs exchanging fires with GIs in front of my house, the dying moment of Saigon when rockets were raining indiscriminately onto the districts, ….

<<Facts, pictures, video clips related to the story – The Vietnamese gulags where political prisoners were tortured by the communists.>>

Comments regarding this post on ABC Open 500 words – A scary moment.

When she was six, in nineteen sixty-eight,
VCs attacked on Chinese New Year date.
Gunfire between the VCs and GIs,
Hiding in the house, she saw with own eyes. But wait there’s more!