I come from such a place. A place where There is a reservoir full of the sweetest water, There is a long meandering river, And there is a lake, as broad as a bay, with the clearest water Sometimes green, sometimes blue.
Social media is not a natural forum of expression for my INTJ personality, but the event provided me plenty of fodder for 140-character lobs, armed further with an iPad-mini camera I was more than trigger-happy with, tacking photographs to my tweets.
Of all the elements of inter-continental journeying – chugging in the train/bus/taxi to the airport; crossing the plane walkway like the tracking of an umbilical cord leading to a new world; rolling up against a receptionist desk to check into a hotel – it is the hotel that represents most what it is like to return to this country, which I have called home for 12 years, yet always still a strange land.
Quyên should not have been on the river that day. Bà nội normally rowed the boat to the floating market at Cái Bè, but she was sick and Ba was working as a day labourer. Although she had only turned 12 last month, Quyên had sense enough to realise the sweet smelling basil they had harvested the day before would wilt and die in the heat.