The deserted neighbourhood

My neighbourhood was made up of blocks of four-storey houses around An Dong market, in the Chinese quarter called “Cho Lon”, Saigon. (In picture, 13-year-old hiMe with her Mum and siblings on Chinese New Year Day 1975 in front of her house, next to the radio shop).

My neighbourhood was made up of blocks of four-storey houses around An Dong market, in the Chinese quarter called “Cho Lon”, Saigon. (In picture, 13-year-old hiMe with her Mum and siblings on Chinese New Year Day 1975 in front of her house, next to the radio shop).

<<Facts, pictures and video clips related to this story – the exodus of ethnic Chinese during 1978 and 1979>>

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – Odd one out.

My neighbourhood was made up of blocks of four-storey houses around An Dong market, in the Chinese quarter called “Cho Lon”, Saigon. But wait there’s more!

And thirty years later … poem

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(Couplet-style poem)

<<Story related to the poem>>

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – One moment, this year.

The defector returns to her country,
She hears the cry, the moan of history.
She learns the wealthy communist devils
Want to migrate and mixed with other peoples.
The communist elites deem Vietnam fearsome:
“Polluted air, unsafe food and poor health system”.

Image credit
by Women in the Black.

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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!

Foot voting

I didn't protest against the maltreatment the communists gave my family in particular and the families of pre-1975-Saigon's high-ranking military men in general. Instead I voted with my feet and left the country.

I didn’t protest against the maltreatment the communists gave my family in particular and the families of pre-1975-Saigon’s high-ranking military men in general. Instead I voted with my feet and left the country.

Comments about this post on ABC Open 500 words – An act of rebellion.

In 1979, as a high-ranking military man, Dad had been in jail for four years and we didn’t know when or if he’d be released.

Our family faced the daily threat of having our assets taken and being sent to undeveloped land of new economic zones. But wait there’s more!