Quynh Nguyen

The good kind of crazy

Entering the world of tea

A few things in life can perplex or overwhelm us, and at the same time they can elevate and delight us. A few things possess that rarity and exquisiteness, like love, a perfect scent, the sun, the ocean, tea.

I used to write about coffee, but when I write about tea I feel like I have to surrender. Like a quote from Shantaram, when you come before India, you have to surrender, only then you can understand, only then you can love. Tea comes to you the same way. You surrender when you drink.

Like the sun, one has to acknowledge the sun before one learns to love it or hate it. The sun rises not because a person loves it, and it doesn’t stop rising because someone shields away from it. The sun is just there. Tea makes me feel like that. No matter how much you like it, it is still tea. Some things are made to be terribly simple and terribly powerful, like the sun, tea, the ocean, a perfect scent, love and beauty.

Usually, a cup of black tea welcomes you to the world of tea. There upon entrance you will find yourself facing from the most ordinary bags to the most exquisite long leaves or dry twists and curls. I like a cup of black tea in the morning, before the flavours and tastes of other foods cloud my judgment. Green, on the other hand, with its smokey and astringent qualities, can be enjoyed alongside with food, or even with strong desserts. But the queen of tea must be rooibos, I call it queen because it yields a sexy red colour and a fruity yet slightly musky smell. Like a beautiful woman, knowing full well her good qualities.

White teas, highly sought after and prized by ancient Chinese and modern counterparts alike, not to mention many tea connoisseurs worldwide, taste almost like spring, or fresh rainwater, or innocence. Delicate and flowery with just a touch of teaness, it is almost as if you are tasting a lover’s lips for the first time.

There are only a few things in life that can overwhelm or consume a person wholly. Tea, as fragile and ethereal as it may seem, possesses that rare power.

Think different

What is so scary about “Think different”?

I’m not just talking about the scandalous (at the time) campaign of Apple computers, I’m talking about actually thinking not like everybody else.

At the time when Apple was going through many hardships and long before anyone thought it was cool or even appropriate to show off with a Mac, they decided to take a huge risk and ran an advertising campaign honouring people who think differently, who do things in a crazy way. Those who have been condemned, picked apart, then praised, then extolled by millions of humans.

What is it about humankind that makes our first reaction to anything different antagonistic, even hostile?

What makes humans, each unique in our own DNA and thoughts and emotions, alienate and bully those who do things differently?


My own closest family member, talented and open-minded, being branded as ‘crazy’ by her own friends.

I have another family member, called angry and crazy by most before those people turn around and praise him.

I have seen cliques forming, groups integrating, to drive a certain individual back into their own world because that person thinks different.

I have had that done to me.

But that is a good thing. Because no good has ever been done by groups or conglomerates, who usually corrupt as they gain power.

And while each individual might be isolated, individuality never dies.

Our wedding day

Just over 4 months ago I was a bride-to-be. Now that I’m thinking about it, all the memories and the emotions are still new and fresh, flooding back to me all at once.

Brides, you will panic. But you will love it, nevertheless. If you don’t love it, probably you shouldn’t be getting married 😉

Days and weeks before the wedding can feel overwhelming and almost as if you can never get anything done right, and on time, and up to standards. Your groom will be with you but in essence a wedding is like a bride’s child. You need to love it and think carefully about what you want and do it, after discussing with your husband to be.

You will be emotionally packed on the day. No matter how much preparation you have done, emotions will come flooding over your whole body and soul. We did a lot of preparation to the tiniest, most minute details of the set-up, the program, even contingency plans. But never could I plan for the emotions I would be feeling on the day.

Vietnamese brides – Walking down the stairs at your parents’ place to the altar for the traditional morning ceremony could be the longest and shortest and most exciting and somewhat frightening walk in your life. I never knew how I did it. I felt like I was floating and some force of energy was carrying me through. Next thing I know, people sitting at tables were looking at me, smiling. And tears were on my cheeks.

You will feel a short of breath as these emotions overwhelm you. You can take a look at your husband (I took a look at Steve and he smiled and my heart just melted and I think I cried even more 🙂 but believe me, your emotions will be strong.

You will forget a lot of things so you should write things down. And give the list to at least 1 person to help you with things. I gave the list to my maid of honour, my best friend, and my make-up artist. Those people are like cushions of comfort to help you get through the day being yourself, gorgeous and happy.

Your groom is going to be nervous as well, so don’t expect him to hang around or wait on you hand and foot at all times. Let him enjoy his moments as well.

Remember to live the day slowly. Many brides I talked to before the wedding said the day went by too fast, in a blink of an eye. I knew that, so I prepared by telling myself to savour every moment, slow it down, enjoy every single detail. Try to take photos with your eyes instead of just smiling for the camera. Try to talk to people instead of just listening to their congratulations. That’s how we did ours.

When you walk down the aisle you won’t be able to hear the bells ringing or notice the flower arrangements or how many people turn up for the wedding. You will just be able to see your path and your groom and your parent(s) next to you. So ask your parents or whoever walking you down the aisle to hang on YOU tightly and help you walk.

Your voice will shake when you exchange vows and you will experience that momentary glimpse of blankness. My hands were trembling uncontrollably but that’s the beauty of it. Everything I did on that day, my body and your soul will remember them forever.

Sit down and have a bite to eat, something to drink. Act normal amongst your guests. They are there to celebrate with you. Not there to look at you as if you’re a museum artefact. Eat, drink, laugh, dance.

That’s how we did it as husband and wife, and how I did it as a bride. And my wedding day was the best day I’ve ever lived.

Happy customers want to be loyal

I’ll just begin with a cliché: It is hard to gain customer’s loyalty, but it is easy to lose it.

One of my favorite eateries in Saigon is Tango Juice. In my opinion, they serve honest food. The restaurant has a wide portfolio of choices for you to choose from: ranging from simple sandwiches, delicious multi-grain breads, pastas, salads, to specialities of different cuisines (Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese etc). Their juice bar has various healthy options and they all taste yummy.

Since we’ve discovered Tango Juice they have been serving us delicious, healthy, honest food. I hate pretentious food where they try to trick you into thinking their presentation is better, while in fact I tend to look into the core of things. Tango Juice’s customer service is also very good, to the point that they remember my voice and my name and deliver to our door quickly.

Once in a while, I have a less-than-happy experience. It’s because of their record of consistent quality and their ability to satisfy a demanding client like me that sometimes, when things drop from the usual standard a little bit, I feel startled.

Note that I feel startled, not disappointed, not angry, not dissatisfied, not to the point that I switch.

One of the key things in the business of service, especially the food industry, is that you have to make it your first priority to gain customer loyalty. Food is a fickle matter. People eat based on their cravings and their moods and their needs. To gain customer loyalty in food, in my opinion, is harder than the status-seeking industry like watches, fashion, perfumes.

What Tango Juice did right was that they gained my loyalty to the point that I’m willing to expand my boundaries for them. Once in a while I’ve experienced something not so good, but I’m willing to give them second chances. Why? A few points:

– Consistently good food (They have proved their ability to provide quality, therefore I have developed trust in them)

– Prompt and honest service (They answer my questions and respond to my complaints instead of denying them; They deliver food to the door as soon as possible)

– They have shown their core of the business to me (Healthy & Honest) and that core speaks to me personally.

All these make me think about the advertising industry. Too often we complain that clients have no sense of loyalty and just like to complain, while in fact, perhaps we haven’t shown them reasons why they should not do that. Why they should not switch, why they should discuss instead of walking away, why they should listen instead of ignoring us. The beauty of good service is not that the client will be happy all the time, but that in those rare times when he’s not happy because of something we do, he can let it pass, and still remain loyal to us.

Nói về một nếp nghĩ, về những điều em chẳng rõ (Or relics of a bygone era)

[Note]: English version below.

Sinh ra và lớn lên trong một gia đình có nhiều năm văn hoá và một lịch sử đặc biệt, dĩ nhiên, tôi thường cô đơn ngay giữa xã hội mình đang sinh sống.

Những bài nhạc tôi nghe từ nhỏ, những thói quen tôi được dạy dỗ và tập tành từ trong gia đình, những sở thích, thú vui, những môn học năng khiếu, những suy nghĩ của tôi thường khác với bạn bè và con người xung quanh. Mới đầu hồi 5-10 tuổi, tôi còn thấy lạ. Giờ đây tôi thấy vậy là bình thường.

Mấy ngày nay nhiều bạn có học hơn và chịu khó đọc hơn đang bàn tán về việc Sài Gòn đang dỡ bỏ những công trình toà nhà kiến trúc cũ để xây nên những thứ mới. Ở một đất nước đang phát triển đó là điều đương nhiên. Mạch phát triển của nước Việt Nam vốn trải qua nhiều thăng trầm, gián đoạn. Chính vì thế sự phát triển có đôi lúc sẽ tăng vọt một cách chóng mặt, sau một thời gian ngủ đông.

Đối với tôi sự ra đi của những toà nhà chỉ là về mặt vật chất, mặt thể xác. Cái gì ra đi thì đã ra đi từ lâu rồi. Một toà nhà có thể đứng vững với thời gian hay không khi mà tư tưởng hay cái gọi là zeitgeist đã thay đổi? Giờ này thương xá sắp đóng cửa, hay là thương xá thì đóng cửa lâu rồi, mà giờ này bạn mới hát?

Tôi từng đùa rằng đang có một ‘giống’ người Việt Nam sắp bị tuyệt chủng. Nghe thì thật to lớn nhưng mà cũng không sai gì lắm. Hãy nghĩ về một vài người bạn biết, có thể bạn đã nghe qua, có khi họ trong gia đình bạn, có khi họ chỉ là người quen, có khi họ là người lạ, có khi họ là người ở phía bên kia, có khi họ là sự đối lập. Những người trong nhóm ấy thuộc về một thế hệ cũ, một thời cuộc cũ, một nếp sống cũ, một nếp nghĩ cũ. Tiếng Anh có từ ‘ideology’ thật khó dịch sang tiếng Việt, tạm dịch là cách nghĩ và lý tưởng. Khi ideology thay đổi thì thật khó để giữ những thứ như toà nhà hay con phố.

Relics of a bygone era

I grew up in a different type of family, compared with most of the peers around me. We have a unique history and many years of culture behind us. It’s quite natural that I’ve always felt lonely amidst the society I’m living in.

The songs that I grew up listening to, the habits and etiquettes taught and nurtured at home, the hobbies and pastimes, the thoughts I have, are usually different from everyone around me. I used to find that discrepancy strange when I was a kid, but now, I think it’s normal.

In recent times, quite a few Vietnamese people are raising concerns and objection to the reconstruction of the city. In a developing country like Vietnam, those changes are inevitable. Our history of developments is full of ups and downs and hindrances along the way. Therefore I find it quite natural that the development of Vietnam will not be a constant and stable one, but rather staccato.

The disappearance of old historical buildings is only the tip of the iceberg, in my opinion. What’s gone has long been gone. Can a building withstand the force when the ideology has long succumbed, when the zeitgeist has changed?

I’m not entirely joking when I said there’s a unique ‘species’ of Vietnamese facing extinction. Let’s think about a certain group of Vietnamese people of the past, the ones you might have read about, or you might have known some, you might have grown up with some, you might have known them as ‘the other side’, you might consider them your opposites. They belong to a bygone era with bygone thoughts and bygone ideologies. How difficult it is to keep the buildings when the ideology has gone?

Súc miệng tập thể

T? nhiên tui nh? t?i m?t th? t?c r?t kinh d? h?i ti?u h?c.

Th? 4 hàng tu?n, rx tr??ng tui t? ch?c “Súc mi?ng t?p th?”.

V? m?t lý thuy?t, sovaldi sale th? t?c này ???c t?o ra nh?m giúp các bé t?i tui v? sinh r?ng mi?ng, sick b?o v? n??u l?i, gi? r?ng ch?c kho?. Nói chung là r?t có l?i cho s?c kho?.

V? m?t th?c hành, e hèm…

Có vài ?i?u sau ?ây tui c?n nói tr??c.

Th? nh?t, b?n nào có m?t cái ph?n x? nh?n m?nh (gag reflex), nên c?n th?n tr??c khi ??c ti?p.

Th? hai, tui có m?t cái ph?n x? nh?n r?t m?nh. Cái gì c?ng có th? làm tui nh?n, ngay c? b??i.

Th? ba, tui r?t ghét nh?ng th? l? m?, l?n c?n, trôi l?nh b?nh.

C? m?i th? 4 hàng tu?n, các bé tr??ng ti?u h?c tui h?c (trong ?ó có tui) s? ???c lùa ra và x?p hàng ngoài l?p. M?i bé ???c phát m?t cái chung b?ng nh?a. Lo?i nh?a ??c có màu xanh, ??, xanh lá cây, vàng. Màu nào c?ng x?n. Trong cái chung ?ó s? là m?t th? n??c l? l?, m?n m?n, l?t l?t, có vài con vi sinh v?t trôi l?nh b?nh, th? n?i.

Sau ?ó cô giáo s? b?t ??u ra l?nh các bé hãy nu?t th? n??c nh? nh? l?n c?n ?ó vào. Làm ??ng tác súc súc trong mi?ng trái-ph?i-trên-d??i-phùng mang tr?n má- r?i sau ?ó l?n l??t, t?ng em, t?ng em, b??c t?i m?t cái xô nh?a ?? ? d??i ??t, và nh? to?t vào ?ó.

Tui nói thi?t. Tui thà nu?t, ch? tui không bao gi? dám ??a m?t vào cái xô ?ó và nh?.

V?y mà tui th?y m?y b?n xung quanh ai c?ng vui v?. D??ng nh? h? ch?ng ngh? gì và c?ng ch?ng thèm ?oái hoài t?i cái s? g?m c?a tui. Và chính vì th? mà h? không nh?n. Và ch?c c?ng ít ng??i trong s? h? nh? t?i chuy?n này.

Còn tui, bây gi? tui ?ang ng?i trong m?t v?n phòng ??p ?? sáng s?a, ? trong building tui có m?t cái toilet s?ch s? sáng s?a. V?i nh?ng con ng??i l?ch thi?p và nh?ng cái vòi r?a tay t? ??ng. Tui t? th?y mình may m?n.

Lý do tui th?y mình may m?n là vì tui nh? t?i m?t k? ni?m trong quá kh?. Th? h?i, n?u không tr?i qua cái g?m, làm sao b?n bi?t giá tr? c?a cái s?ch?

So let’s think about this

Now let’s think about this.

We are born into this life to live.

Part of the living is working.

Let me get this straight from the beginning – I love working. It gives me a sense of purpose and achievement. It also broadens my mind and tests my skills. It lets me improve processes and help people. It makes me feel content.

But I also have the other parts of living to fulfill.

Now let’s think about time.

Time is probably the only element in life that you can’t escape.

We need time to live our life. So better make time become your friend, not your enemy, not your competitor, and definitely not your dictator.

Now, most of us mortals spend 5 days a week, 8 hours a day working, which makes for approximately 40 hours of working a week.

That leaves us 16 hours per day. In those 16 hours, 8 hours are used for eating, sleeping, personal hygiene activities.

In the 8 hours left, what do we do?

If we’re lucky, we don’t have to spend much of those 8 hours commuting to where we want to go.

But most of us are not lucky, so let’s take out 1-2 hours commuting a day. Dealing with traffic, fun, eh?

So 6 hours left. The questions we might want to think about are:

Can we fit all of the other elements of ‘living’ into this 6 hours?

Can we fulfill our “human” and “humane” needs?

Can we further ourselves and understand our souls?

Do we have enough time with our family?

Do we have enough time for fitness and health? (In the end, you have your own body to take care of.)

Do we have time to understand the purpose of being here, and what good can we do?

Or, are we just gonna pass away like most humans do?

I’m not advocating for the 4-working-day-week if it’s done individually.

Rather, I’m thinking about the whole system of things. The whole way corporations have set out to be from the beginning. The whole school of thought we’re trained to be thinking in.

How about we rethink?

Tui AQ, tui khùng hay tui trung đạo?

M?y nay tui siêng ??c m?y th? g?n g?i quanh tui.

Tui vô tình ??c ???c m?t bài tên “Mút”.

À, sale hông ph?i là mi?ng mút r?a chén, patient mà n?u ai vi?t ???c m?t bài v? mi?ng mút ?ó, case tui c?ng thán ph?c, ch?c nó thu?c d?ng v?n h?c h?u hi?n ??i.

Bài ?ó vi?t v? cái mút hay còn g?i là cái mood, là cái tr?ng thái tâm t? tình c?m, là cái m? h? nh? m?t áng mây che ph? tâm h?n, là cái vui ?ó, bu?n ?ó, chán ?ó, l??i ?ó, hay b?t c? cái gì ?ó.

Ví d?, vào m?t bu?i sáng th? 2. Tui th?c d?y.

Tui nh?n ra ?ó là sáng th? 2. Tui nhìn ??ng h? th?y tui d?y lúc 8g35 ch? hg ph?i 8g25. V?y là cái mood c?a tui nó xìu xu?ng ngay l?p t?c. Ng??i ta g?i là m?t mood. Ti?ng Vi?t g?i là m?t h?ng.

Tui nhìn m?i th? xung quanh b?ng m?t ?ôi m?t màu xám (?úng ra là l?ng kính màu xám, nh?ng tui th?y con m?t nó chân th?t h?n).

Tui ?i t?m, tui th?y sao nó lâu quá: tui ph?i x? n??c tóc, g?i ??u, xoa d?u g?i, x? tóc s?ch, lau tóc khô, ch?i tóc. Tui ngh? t?i m? tóc r?i mà tui ch?a k?p g?. Tui ngh? t?i nh?ng gi?t n??c tui s? làm vung vãi xu?ng sàn.

Và tui th?y chán. Khi tui th?y chán, tui th?y ai nói gì c?ng có ý ?âm ch?t t?i tui. Tui th?y hành ??ng nào c?ng có ý x?u.


Nh?ng n?u c?ng vào bu?i sáng th? 2 ?ó. Tui th?c d?y.

Tui th?y tr?i mát d?u. Tui nh? ra tháng này công chúa ?i v?ng. Tui nh? t?i n? hôn t?m bi?t. Tui th?y mood tui nó dâng cao. Ng??i ta g?i là có mood. Ti?ng Vi?t g?i là có h?ng.

Tui nhìn m?i th? xung quanh d?u dàng h?n và ch?p nh?n h?n. Tui ?i t?m, tui th?y n??c mát quá, d?u g?i th?m quá, tóc m?m quá. Tui nhìn g??ng tui th?y thích, tui không cau có khó ch?u. Tui m?m c??i.

Và tui th?y vui. Khi tui th?y vui, tui nghe nh?ng l?i nói nh? nh? b?n ch?t c?a chúng. Chúng l? thu?c vào m?t th?i ?i?m, m?t không gian, m?t ??i t??ng. Ngoài nh?ng context ?ó, chúng không có ý gì m?y. Tui nhìn m?i ng??i ôn hoà h?n. Tui v?a ?i v?a ng?i, mùi cây c?, mùi sông n??c, nh?ng tui c?ng không ngu t?i n?i ng?i mùi khói xe mà th?y thích.


Ng??i hi?n có câu “Tâm viên ý mã”. Nói hu?ch to?t ra là tâm t? thì nh? con kh? còn ý ngh? thì nh? con ng?a. Tâm tui nó c?ng t?ng qu?y nh? con kh? và ý ngh? c?a tui nó c?ng nhanh nh? con ng?a. Tui ??ng ý, tui th?y ch?a có cái personality report nào nó ?úng và ng?n g?n nh? câu này ?? nói v? tui.

Tui ngh? thêm 1 cái n?a m?i ?úng “Tâm viên ý mã m?t mèo”. Ngoài m?t tui c?ng l?nh lùng và ph?t t?nh nh? con mèo.

T? khi tui ch?p nh?n ?i?u này, tui bi?t cách làm cho 3 con ch?i v?i nhau hoà thu?n h?n m?t xíu. Con ng?a, tui cho nó ch?y, nh?ng tui c?ng v? ???ng cho nó. Ngày x?a nó hay ch?y lung tung, mà ch?y nhanh n?a, tui theo không k?p, tui h?t h?i, tui m?t m?i, tui chán, tui m?t mood.

Gi? tui cho nó ch?y nhanh mà ?úng ???ng, d?n nó qua m?y ch? danh lam th?ng c?nh ??p, cho nó d?ng l?i u?ng n??c hái hoa, tui th?y nó vui h?n m?t xíu.

Con kh?, h?i x?a nó c?ng thích qu?y tui l?m. Nó c? nh?y ch? này, nh?y ch? kia, trèo cành này ?u cành kia, nó ch?t ng??i này, ch? ng??i kia. Nó v?n ??ng v?t c?p cao nên nó hay dòm ngó và nó bi?t phán xét.

Gi? tui th?y nó thích ng?i tr?m ngâm nhìn m?i th?. Nó c?ng t?ng t?ng, nh?ng mà nó không còn nhìn ng??i này ng??i kia ?? so sánh. Nó c?ng ?ã d?n d?n nh?n ra nó là m?t ??ng v?t c?p cao nên nó th?y tho?i mái v?i chuy?n ?ó. Nó không c?n ph?i ch?ng t? n?a.

M?y cái con ?ó nó s?ng trong m?t cái nhà g?i là cái mood. Nó xây nên ngôi nhà ?ó. Nh?ng mà ng??i ta có câu, cái gì xây lên ???c thì c?ng ??p b? ???c. Cái gì nhét vô ???c thì c?ng rút ra ???c. L?i là m?t câu khác c?a ng??i hi?n mà tui nh? mãi.

Nên tui th?y cái mood c?a tui nó c?ng nh? cái nhà ?? ch?i. Tui s?n nó màu ??p thì nó ??p. Tui s?n nó ?en sì thì nó x?u. C?ng m?t th?, n?u tui ch?n ngh? theo h??ng này, thì tui s? vui. N?u tui ch?n ngh? theo h??ng khác, thì tui s? t?c. Mà cu?i cùng vì b?n tính c?a tui, t?c hay vui gì c?ng mình tui h??ng mình tui ch?u. Cho nên tui ngh?, thà vui còn h?n t?c.


Vài k? s? nói r?ng tui AQ quá. Tui ngh? gi?a con ???ng trung ??o c?a ??c Ph?t và AQ có nhi?u ?i?m t??ng ??ng. Quan tr?ng là hi?u t?i sao mình làm gì cho t?ng quy?t ??nh.

N?u b?n thích ?i ???ng t?t mà b?n ch? bi?t có 1 ???ng t?t ?ó, tui ngh? ?ó là AQ.

N?u b?n bi?t nh?ng con ???ng khác và b?n bi?t con ???ng t?t nh?t ?? b?n ?i và b?n ?i nó, thì ?ó là trung ??o. N?u b?n bi?t con ???ng t?t nh?t mà b?n không ?i, thì ?ó là khùng.


Tui AQ, tui khùng hay tui trung ??o. Tui c?ng ch?a bi?t n?a. Còn b?n thì sao?

Vâng, tui là người khó tính. (Yes, I can be difficult)

Vâng, tui xin công nhận, tui là người khó tính.


Nhưng bạn hãy thử nghĩ xem, tui và bạn, chung sống dưới một mái toà nhà, thì chúng ta cũng nên hiểu nhau một tí chứ nhỉ?

Tui và bạn, ai cũng có headphone, vậy mà tui đeo vào, còn bạn thì không.

Tui và bạn, ai cũng thích nghe nhạc, vậy mà tui nghe nhạc mình tui thôi, còn bạn thì nghe là cả phòng cùng nghe.

Tui nghĩ âm nhạc nó có tiếng nói lớn lắm, vang vọng lắm. Nó nói về cả một con người, cả một văn hoá. Nó nói về nhiều thứ, mà nếu có người cứ oang oang như vậy, bạn thấy sao?


Tui và bạn, ai cũng ăn trưa.

Tui và bạn, có khi ăn ở trong, có khi ăn ở ngoài.

Tui ăn xong, tui đem ra rửa. Tui rửa xong, tui úp.

Bạn ăn xong, bạn quăng đó. Ai rửa, ai úp?

Tui nghĩ thói ăn nó cũng có tiếng nói lớn lắm, vang vọng lắm. Nó nói về cả một con người, cả một văn hoá. Nó nói về nhiều thứ, mà nếu có người cứ quăng bừa bãi vậy, bạn thấy sao?


Tui và bạn, ai cũng có tiếng nói, tiếng cười.

Tui và bạn, có người giọng cao, có người giọng trầm, có người giọng chẳng cao chẳng trầm.

Nhưng về âm lượng, tui nghĩ ai cũng có thể điều chỉnh được.

Tui nghĩ tiếng nói, tiếng cười nó nói lên nhiều thứ lắm. Nếu mà bạn mua nhầm cái loa mà bạn không điều chỉnh âm lượng được, bạn thấy sao?


Tui vốn nói ít, nhưng tui mong bạn hiểu nhiều. Còn bạn hiểu được hay không, chắc tui chỉ có thể hy vọng. Hehe.


Yes, I can be difficult.

You and I, we work under the same roof, so I think there are a few things we should understand about each other.

You and I, we both have headphones, but I put them on, whereas you don’t.

You and I, we love our music. But I listen to them by myself, whereas you make all of us listen to yours.

I think, music can speak a lot about a person. And if there’s someone blasting at you like that, what do you reckon?


You and I, we both eat.

After I eat, I clean my dishes and put them away.

After you eat, you leave them lying around dirty. Who will clean them for you?

I think eating etiquette reflects a person’s personality. And if there’s someone who keeps leaving dirty things around you, what do you reckon?


You and I, we both talk. We both laugh.

You and I, each of us has our unique tone of voice.

But volume is something we all can control.

Your volume speaks volumes about your personality (pun intended). If you buy a speaker with a faulty volume control, what do you reckon?


I like to keep it short, subtle and maybe a little bit sweet. I hope you can taste all of that.

Things that make me happy

I used to ponder over things that made me sad, capsule angry or disappointed. I slept on things that made me frustrated. I thought about things or people that I’d have loved to fix, things that I’d do differently if it were me, things that I’d like to throw away or eradicate.

Recently, time has had a wonderful effect on me. Time is a strong and powerful force, though it is very subtle. There were many things that would send me jumping up and down (in frustration), now I see them more calmly and more gently. Words that I sharpened in order to fight (for the pen is mightier than the sword), now I learn to work on them so they can build instead of piercing to ruin. Things over which I agonized for days and months, now I learn to let them go. So now in a natural way, I learn to notice more and more things that make me happy. The simple little joys I learn to appreciate with time, for without time, I would never have learned their value.


I’m happy when my family is healthy. Nothing takes away happiness as quickly as sickness.

I’m happy when I bring lunch for a friend at work, after many times she has fed me so generously.

I’m happy when S sends me funny emoticons on Viber.

I’m happy when I talk to my long-time friend and cousin, a friendship that has gone through many ups and downs.

I’m happy when there’s a new member in the family. Someone I really like.

I’m happy when people give me books.

I’m happy when I have my áo dài made.

I’m happy when I pick up a nice shade of lipstick. I’m happy when a friend takes her time to put the lipstick on for me.

I’m happy when I smell the rain.

I’m happy when I get compliments on a dress I wear.

I’m happy when I listen to debates or arguments. When I can, to the best of my capacity, help each side understand a little bit more of the other.

I’m happy when I slow down to listen more. When I listen not to criticize but to learn and accept.

I’m happy when I know how to say sorry and mean it. When the other person understands my sincerity.

I’m happy when I go shopping with my mum. I’m happy to have her as my best friend.

I’m happy when I make a good coffee and settle down with a good book.

I’m happy when I know people are getting excited each night for the World Cup (Strange, I know!)

I’m happy when I read.

I’m happy when I listen to my music.

I’m happy when I write.

I’m happy when I can get rid of the negative thoughts, stop the self-destructive criticisms and learn to silence the nagging voice inside me.

I’m happy when I know how to accept certain things as parts of life: time, age, differences, arguments, and points of views…

I’m happy when I know how to stop doubting myself.