A Vietnamese governor took the house while we were away, but then my older brother came back to take care of the house — my older brother had been in the Communist Army — and the government agreed to rent it as a tax office. My second brother died in the war, a (more…)
‘In April it was green beans, different months by region. They brought it into Hoi An and she kept everything in the two-storey house until she would go to Hanoi by boat. In Hanoi slie would buy imported things to bring back to sell. Always, after almost every trip, she would build a (more…)
when she s not praying*’ advises JVmy friend Robyn Morlev, an extraordinary Australian woman, who has lived in Hoi An for ten vears and single-handedly founded Childrens Hope in Action. Her charity helps children with desperate disabilities, health or educational problems. W hen (more…)
Another day, I visit Linh’s shop in Hoi An at 152 Tan Phu Street. It is early morning and the shop assistant, Nhung (a flower), has time to show me around.A huge, bald-headed Buddha carries a walking stick with a dragons head, a gourd of wine and a huge Chinese cherry. He has been (more…)
A curious wooden arc looks rather like part of a crossbow, but no, it will hold a solid wooden guitar on which the portrait of a famous Vietnamese musician from Hue, Trinh Cong Son, has been carved.
‘He is well known throughout Vietnam.’
The guitar, balanced in its arc will be shown in the exhibition in Danang next month. (more…)
Along one wall, the name of each worker is painted above a space on an open shelf, ‘where they store their tools,’ a set of thirty or so tools of different sizes. There are flint stones for sharpening.
Surprisingly, the factory employs several handicapped people, surprisingly because one would think that physical strength is required to be a (more…)
Nearby, the life-sized figure of a young boy holds out ‘a fire ring’, the ring in his hand having been carved from the same piece of wood as the boy, the folds of his tunic falling as though blown softly by the wind.
Linhs partner, Tran Thu, joins us. He manages the factory and acts as the master sculptor. Life-sized statues of the goddess, Quan Yin The Am, (more…)
The poor wife took refuge in a pagoda disguised as a male monk and was besieged by the unwanted attentions of the village belle, Thi Mau. Despite the monks rejections, when Thi Mau fell pregnant through another liaison, out of spite she pointed to the monk, who obviously did (more…)
On crossing the bridge at Nam Phuoc, the bikes turn off the main road into paved village lanes, past neat stuccoed houses behind concrete or sometimes courtyards of packed earth where a haystack clings to a central pole, always behind some kind of fence or wall, flowering plant (more…)
‘Do you know lemonctllo f ’Thanh asks. As Federicos mother had taught her to make lemonctllo, an innocuous tasting, unexpectedly lethal Italian liqueur, she has been experimenting with mangochelio ‘ with excellent results.Thanh also introduces me to her locally born partner, (more…)