Come home

Stopping at the top at Tho Ha ancient village, I looked around. This place used to be an old banyan tree that was shady all year round, where we children used to let buffaloes lie down to avoid the summer sun and while the buffaloes lay down to enjoy the cool air, their mouths slowly chewed “betel nut”, the children they I was naked, black, struggling in the canals and ditches. No more childish shadows. The children are no longer those who have to take care of buffaloes like we used to be…

At the begining of Tho Ha ancient village, the owner said: “Uncle, go home to play, come in and make a bowl of green tea to cool down.” This restaurant has been around for a long time. In the past, the shop had thatched roofs and earthen walls. The customers were mainly villagers who stopped by to drink a cup of green tea, make a peanut candy bar or a pipe cigarette after the field work. A bowl of clear green tea. Taking a sip of sweet, aromatic tea, I listened to the voices of the ladies and girls in the shop talking about shopping and about the coming crops. Across the street, a few lilies have just bloomed. Rose red flowers, fluttering in the wind. One day, a long time ago, someone gave me this wild flower the day I went to the army…

Late in the afternoon, I went to the dike alone to watch the children fly kites. Colorful kites flying in the air look fun. In the past, it was not easy to make a kite. The most difficult thing is to create a kite frame so that it can absorb the wind so that the kite can fly high. The kite string is made of dried hemp, wrapped in a butter tube. Now children enter the shop, only need a few tens of thousands to have a kite, not having to do it themselves. Sitting on the embankment when the children had gone home, I wanted to lie down on the grass like before, but I couldn’t. The embankment is now concrete, rough and hot…

Tho Ha ancient village has changed a lot. The house is tall, the new tile is more beautiful. More modern life. But the loss is also more. Back home now, banyan tree, water wharf, communal yard are absent. The charm of the countryside, many cultural traditions have faded…

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