The number-one scissors of Quang Trung (Quang Trung Đệ Nhất Kéo)

My father has been cutting his hair at the same barber’s for twenty five years. He said he wouldn’t want to “put his head into anyone else’s hands.” The relationship he has with his barber, cậu (Mr.) Đức, is not only built on trust, but faith. My father, like a lot of people, is obstinate in that way––only faithful to one barber who can give him the service and the style exactly as he wants; the risk of not knowing how his haircut will turn out is just too much to bear.  Continue reading “The number-one scissors of Quang Trung (Quang Trung Đệ Nhất Kéo)”


A story about heterotopia

Morning arrives through the rearmost window, feathering its novice shafts of sunlight onto Manita’s eyelashes. She warms herself up before landing onto the ground, turns on playlist number 3 from the in-wall speaker, and strides across the room to the dining table, where laid freshly a plate of sliced fruits, a bowl of oatmeal, and a mug of warm genmaicha. Ms. Donahi, her mother, must have prepared this breakfast earlier in the morning before she goes to work. Now darling, as far as my research goes, this breakfast combo will give you the best energy for intensive learning. Make sure you finish everything before you start your training schedule every day. Continue reading “Trickling”

Into the Wires

I am alive, but dead still.

If someone was looking at this humongous bouquet of two-wheelers jammed together at the traffic light from a bird’s-eye view, he would be petrified. For an experienced rider like me, the street is my roller rink, and this congestion is nothing more than a little shaky spin on the wheels. My eyesight is blocked by Mr. and Mrs. On Vespa We’re In Love, which is unexpectedly enjoyable for I have learned to appreciate public displays of affection in an environment where everyone feels too awkward to touch even their own skin. Continue reading “Into the Wires”

Let’s down a cultural bottle of vodka!

Cleaning up my laptop, I stumbled upon a few old writings from 2 years ago, when I was applying to college. This is a piece I find particularly adorable-I remember distinctively how I was always claiming that I didn’t believe in “cultural differences,”  that I myself would not let any cultural barrier prevent me from making friends all over the world. I still honor this belief, although most of the thoughts around it have developed drastically, as I’ve grown a lot since college. The question of cultural differences becomes so much more multifaceted. But oh well, here comes a peak into 17-year-old Nam Nam’s mind. 🙂

Continue reading “Let’s down a cultural bottle of vodka!”