By Minh Vu


I am from crazy city traffic and friendly people
Looking at tall buildings, nice towers, and bridges
Watching motorcycles on busy noisy roads and traffic lights
From a city with a thousand small long roads and kids running around.

I am from the best beef noodles and the sweet smell of it on a small road
Morning smells of rice cake, fresh but tasty, and smoke smells from old men
From fresh vegetables in every dish, a little bit spicy from the chili
I‘m from street food and small chairs, and where people move fast and hurry
From where fish sauce is famous and weird but a necessary spice for food.

I am from the noise of motorcycles in the morning
The bang-bang sound from construction on the roads
River flows in a melody of an old woman singing
From the “chop-chop” in the early morning market, crowded to overflowing
I am from the laugh of kids playing on a hill and lying on the soft nice grass
From the “tu-tu” sound from trains, people riding their bikes with food to sell.

I am from proverbs “Grasp all, lose all,” “Silence is golden, “Time is a diamond,” and “Slow and steady wins the race”
From family members giving nicknames, “Bo” for me, sounds cute and fun
From Mommy’s song at night “Goodnight to you,” her yell in the morning, “Wa upppp”
From Daddy’s football game shouts “Hall ya,” and “Yahhhh”
From a city with romantic love songs, influencing my personality
From ballad songs in the 80s or pop music that teenagers love
I am from feeling hot burning sun all year around
Burning hair and skin in the middle of summer, from still hot air
Hard roads, bumpy streets, brick walls, traffic for a couple hours
Beautiful beaches, nice soft wind flowing overhead, fresh and cool
Soft brown sand, cold water, hot food in summer.

I am from “Pho, “, “Bun Bo Hue, “and “Banh Xeo, “
Clean fresh beef broth, beef and chicken slices, white shiny noodles
Broken rice served with grilled food, veggies and fish sauce
Weird street food, but tasting better than it looks
From shiny fish skin, fresh seafood, stir or deep fried with a crunchy outside
Spices in every dish, chili added on food and fruit, with sweet and spicy making a good combination
From street foods, kids growing up with it and “BoBa” tea
And homemade food from Mom and Grandma, full of love and sweet home taste
From beautiful brown “Moon cakes” in September and “Banh Chung” during New Year’s.

I am from those moments.


(Photo from Pixabay)

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