Ba ngoai family

My “ba ngoai” in 2010 now is over 90 years old, probably mid 90s. My mom is her youngest daughter. “Ba ngoai” has many children, which is typical for a peasant back in the old days, by the way my home land today is no longer peasant land, more homes are being built taking over the big rice fields, people work in the cities instead of farming. “Ba ngoai” family is not rich, in fact just like any other family back then, just have barely enough rice, meat and fish to eat, some time I stop by “ngoai”‘s house to  give some shrimps and fishes that I’ve caught.

“Ba ngoai” house back then, dried mud floor that had been pounded many times to make it strong, when I first walk inside the house I would smell mud just like many other houses here. The roof are made up of big coconut leaves usually dried, it kept the house cool and also catch and filter the water for drinking, most of the time I drink rain water, but be careful not to drink the whole thing, pour it out, let it sit for a bit for the sand or dirt mud whatever sink to the bottom then drink 3/4 top fresh clean water. The structure of the house consist of coconut tree about 3 of them as support beam and then smaller beam to support the roof and wall. The wall is also made up from coconut leaves. Yes, it’s already sound famable and it is flamable if someone want to burn it, but it rarely happen here, people are busy making a living rather than causing trouble, even marriage are being arranged so very little trouble back then. It does have a living room, back kitchen and bedroom, no bath room, the bathroom back then was a small pond in the back couple min walking distance “dia ca tra”. In the front of the house I remember there was a small man made creek, small path way to the house. Coconut trees and other trees around the house.

Nha Que Cu Lao Tan Thoi
Nha Que Cu Lao Tan Thoi

My Que Huong Cu Lao Tan Thoi fruits and vegetables

These are all the fruits and vegetables that I can recall back in the mid late 1980s before I left Vietnam as a refugee seek new life in America. These are actual fruits and vegetables that I have eaten and grown mostly in my grand parents yard. Some I even help grown myself. There are tons of other variety in Vietnam, but many I never got a chance to eat before. Continue reading “My Que Huong Cu Lao Tan Thoi fruits and vegetables”

Nha Tho Rach Cau – Tan Thoi

Nha Tho Rach Cau – Tan Thoi, is a catholic church that people go to daily for mass, the majority of people in this area back in the late 70s and 80s are catholic, and I believe also true today 90s and 2010s because I’ve seen wedding ceremony 10s to 20s couple at a time. As for me I was forced to go to church daily when possible and mandatory Sunday mass when I was young. This church had major re-construction, when I was young the church was originally all cement with lots of crack here and there and look very old, like mideval time castle, it was big. The last time I visited Vietnam back in mid 2000s re-construction was completed, and I couldn’t recognize it. I missed the old church. Continue reading “Nha Tho Rach Cau – Tan Thoi”

School in Vietnam Tan Thoi – Tieu Hoc

The school that I went to from Kindergarten to 4th grade was “Truong Tieu Hoc – Tan Thoi”, it was small and next to Catholic Church “Nha Tho Rach Cau”. I started Kindergarten at the age of 5 I think, at the time I remember my mom had to go with me learning the alphabet and numbers. I didn’t really pay attention to the teachers maybe because I have no idea what she was saying, I copy the person next to me whatever he/she written down on a small chalk board. At the time each student have a small chalk board size of a modern day clipboard, teacher would write something on the big chalk board then we either copy it or answer it on our small chalk board, we mostly sing, and memorize favorite poetry. That’s Kindergarten. Continue reading “School in Vietnam Tan Thoi – Tieu Hoc”

Transistor radio

Other students would hang out with friends playing sports and chase after girls, for me I have no interest in those areas. I was more interested in technology and the world. During my middle school years, I believe it was 7th grade, Junior High, I normally spent my time at the local public library checking out books about electronics and technology, especially books that have lots of picture illustration, because I was not a fast reader, books that have pictures would save me a lot of time. Continue reading “Transistor radio”

Amsterdam Netherland Poland Europe

I was on a business trip for my company help setup a logistics warehouse in Frankfurt, Germany. First time in Europe, I took a flight from San Francisco to JFK I believe and from there to London then to Frankfurt Germany, it was along flight. Since I have a week end in Germany and had a friend in Poland I’ve decided to take a drive there. I asked another co-worker to go with me. We took my rental car it’s the newest model Volvo during the the time with, this car equiped with turbo charge and onstar system, it has heated leather seat as well, and folding mirror to squueze through small narrow road. Continue reading “Amsterdam Netherland Poland Europe”

Frankfurt Germany

My first business trip to Europe was Frankfurt Germany. Purpose of the trip was to help setup a logistics warehouse operations in Frankfurt, Germany for Applied Materials Inc. First time in Europe, I took a flight from San Francisco to JFK I believe and from there to London then to Frankfurt Germany, it was along flight. This was my first time to Europe. The airline was British Airway. The flight was typical, waiting at multiple airports for flight change connections. “london heathrow airport” was the connection to Frankfurt Germany my final destination. There wasn’t any delay, just long waiting connection, I was able to explore around and did some shopping and had some foods, good thing it’s in English, British English that is. Continue reading “Frankfurt Germany”


This was a business trip for my company. I took a flight from San Francisco directly to Tokyo Japan. It was American airline flight, nice and comfortable flight, wasn’t bad at all. Landed in Tokyo Narita International Airport, it was big, but similar to other international airport, except maybe it’s a little bit cleaner. I called my co worker on a cell phone whom took a different flight but arrived almost same time. I got through custom clearance and try to find my way to the hotel.

I noticed the airport staff, they all smile a little bit more here than at other airport. They seems to be very kind,