I never told my friends out of shame that two men had cowardly tricked me and I narrowly escaped ‘the shame chair’ in the house I shared with other Vietnamese refugee girls. To the girls in the house, they still believed that I harboured a secret of what happended that night. But wait there’s more!
April 1984, I arrived in Australia and stayed at Enterprise Hostel, Springvale in Melbourne. A week later, a religious Sister took me home – a six-bedroom Burwood-parish house that accommodated thirteen Catholic Vietnamese refugees and me – a Buddhist. But wait there’s more!
The flower of love on the altar,
Turned into a serpent of anger.
The man of the cloth – the saviour,
Turned out to be an alligator.
In the story of a refuge seeker.
by Michael Coghlan.