The third day of my swimming summer

Deeping myself in swimming pools sometimes I still haven’t been good at this kind of sport so I decided to spend this summer for swimming. Today, after swimming (well, learning to swim, if you want it to be exactly) I went to have breakfast with my friend. We talked about how our breakfast – banh cuon – was – it was much better than what I hoped but still couldn’t compare with banh cuon I had had in my hometown last time.

All streets were too crowded as usual. The sun still didn’t show his angry face, perhaps he would stay behind the cloud today. Things seemed to be so normal. My friend and I wondered where to buy some beautiful flowers to decorate our tiny place.

My neighbors were chatting. One complained about her husband didn’t show that he cared for her as often as her friends’ husbands – he didn’t often say flying words, rarely bought flowers for her…. The other didn’t agree, she thought it wasn’t important what a man showed off – it was what he usually did in daily life for their life that was matter.

Everything around here is the same as usual. If someone doesn’t surf Facebook or online newspapers, online magazines, they hardly hear about demonstrations somewhere. Even heard something, people just don’t care much, we must focus on our daily life, our daily things to do.

These days, I have a (funny?) feeling that some people are playing game and that feeling disturbs me sometimes although I don’t know what game it could be. And a real problem now: it must take pretty long time for me to swim as well as I want – I’m never good at sporting things.

 

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How is it here now?

It has been hot here lately, because of the temperature has suddenly risen and because of what has happened in the South China Sea, about this name, I must say that I always call it the South Sea in Vietnamese (Bien Dong). All people in Vietnam have talked about the latter topic these days, even someone feels so bored with politics like me. If you want to know more about the situation, you can take a search on Google, you’ll get many information about that. Here I add a map with English from Nguyen Phuong Mai, a lecturer of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, who has tried her best to look at this as objectively as she can, and in my opinion it’s fair enough to show to my friends here:

One thing made me worried right now, that workers in Binh Duong – a province in the south – started demonstrations to protest against China’s stationing of an oil rig in Vietnam’s sea area, which turned out to be a riot that burned and damaged many factories in the area. I don’t want this spread out to other provinces. Neither do most people. Many have risen their voice to call for calm down. A sister of my friend, works in Binh Duong, told him on phone that there were few people tried to burned and broken things while most workers just watched. I couldn’t say that I was happy with what she told. There seemed to be more than what it showed. It gave me shivered, thinking about Ukraine lately. And then as my old friends reminded me, it urged us to think about 1979 February. It seemed to have something similar. Just hope people can always keep calm and think clearly about what their action could lead.

Children don’t know anything?

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“Oh, I miss my family so much!”- By Khanh Linh

Last Sunday, I had a class with my little student which about compassion with our marines – a topic suddenly became a hot topic now. We talked about a picture of a marine hugging his wife after a long time he was on the sea, doing his duty. “Do you know what marines do?” “They have to guard our sea and islands”, they answered. I didn’t know how they knew about that. “And they protect people”, a boy added. These little students told me that the marine in the picture must miss his house, his family a lot. “Perhaps he was too happy that he could cry when he met his wife”, another boy said. When they heard that many marines have to stay far away from their family for months, even years, they said: “Oh, they must be homesick all the time!” Khoi Nguyen, my youngest student said: “They will miss their mothers, their fathers. Ah, if they have sisters, they will miss their sisters for sure.”

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The marine and the sea! His sister (on the right) is coming to visit him – By Khoi Nguyen

When they draw some pictures after playing role game as marines and the relatives who came to visit those marines I took a look on what they drawing. A girl named Khanh Linh made me notice when she drew a person with a caption: “Oh, I miss my family so much!” “This was a female marine” – she told me. And here was the conversation we had:

Me: Does she leave the sea and come back to visit her family?

Khanh Linh: No, she doesn’t. She is guarding the sea!

A boy came to me with his paper: “This is a marine, he is doing his job. This is his sister come to visit him. Here is marine cemetery on the island. You know what? Many marines died but they aren’t scared.”

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The marine, his sister and the marine cemetery (on the right) – By Quang Dang

I thanked students and told myself that people (in my country) usually said “children don’t know anything” but in fact children knew much more than we could think – they knew almost everything.