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I woke up since 3 am, the first night back to America which is my typical jet lag. Although I’m physically in America, my mind is still in Vietnam.

The last day before leaving Vietnam, I wanted to pamper myself the last time at a beauty salon, the most frequent visited place in Vietnam for me 😘. As I passed by the hairdresser, I told her that I would be right back after having breakfast. I then looked for the familiar young vendor selling Vietnamese baguette, but she was no where to be found since the Lunar New Year. Then I went to another familiar vendor selling crab paste noodle soup. She is my neighbor I have known since I was a little girl. This land used to be a countryside where a handful of people raised cattle and did farming. In the past quarter of the century, farmers have turned into landlords for small apartment buildings and small vendors.

I have been a loyal customer for over two decades to my neighbor selling crab paste noodle soup. In recent years, she no longer could stand straight up due to various health issue. She told me that couldn’t work for weeks due to health problem, but she missed working and her customers. So she went back to work the first day after being absent for weeks. She had a lot of customers that morning ordering for togo. As I sat down waiting for my food, an older lady came in and sat right across me. We made eye contact. She said she has never seen me before, but she liked what she saw. She said I have a nice feature and bet a lot of people are fond of me 😘. I asked her if she was a fortune teller, but she said no. However, she has the ability to read people. She then guessed my age in the early 30. I didn’t correct her though. I gave her a satisfactory smile 🥰.

I then told her that I am here on vacation, and who my family is. She bursted out in tears. She said she missed seeing my mom so much; she called my mom as mom as well. She said she came by to visit mom, but there was a wild dog and no one opened the door for her. I wanted to take her back home to visit mom. but I couldn’t because I told the hairdresser earlier that I wound be right back after breakfast. Before I left, the older woman sent the best regards to Mom for being helping her for many years. I paid for our breakfast and proceed for the beauty salon.

Will I meet my neighbor who has been selling crab paste noodle soup for the last few decades again or will I have a chance to take the older woman to visit mom? Probably not. People are like machines which are wear and tear. The youngsters will replace the older which is the cycle of life. What cannot be replaced or forgotten is humanity, the kindness you leave in others’ heart. ♥️

February 18, 2023

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