Thatched cottage and childhood memories

In my childhood memories, most are pictures of the houses that my family used to live in, the lands that I have passed through. I don’t remember exactly and never asked my parents again, but it was probably close to 20 houses in about 19 years, until I went to college. There is the house my parents bought, but many of the houses we rent in, have time to move in and move out within an afternoon!

Those houses are, for the most part, in my memory, sometimes clear, sometimes blurred! But strangely enough, the thatched cottage in the Tho Ha ancient village is always clearly visible, like I was just yesterday.

My parents and four sisters lived in this house around the years 1993-1996, when the Tho Ha ancient village produced rice paper, so it was also busy and developed. In a peaceful alley, the surrounding houses are mostly tile-roofed houses or even rich ones with flat roofs. As for my house, the walls are made of earth, thatched roof, the floor is earthen, glossy, the house has three wooden doors.

The Northern sunshine in May and June is like fire, walking on the street, the surface of the road evaporates, seeing a glimpse of people in front, but entering the house is cool. I can’t forget that cool feeling. It is not the kind of chilling like when the air conditioner hits your face, the cold like entering a few star hotels, nor the coolness of an electric fan. This is a cool, steamy and soothing feeling. Soft and comfortable. At noon in the summer, without a mat, my four sisters and I rolled back and forth between the house and slept soundly.

Several times wind, storm, cracked walls, my parents called workers, straw, mud, mixing, plastering. All the children flocked in, demanding to mix, demanding warrants, but adults never let their hands in. Over the years, the memory still has the image intact and still feels like a faint, warm, fragrant smell of rice from the straw.

Right at the entrance to the house in Tho Ha ancient village is a huge sage tree, which is full of fruit, yellow and fragrant in the season. Our children at that time rarely ate meat, mainly to smell, to inhale by the bedside. The market is ripe and full of alleys, but the nature is childish, so happy, every afternoon the two sisters stay awake, then quarrel fiercely, not letting the neighbors children pick them.

In front of the house is a well. To the left of the well is a mulberry tree. Green is dipped with salt and soup powder, when it’s cooked, eat it, sour and sweet. Delicious!

In front of the well is a pond. Around the pond there are some guava trees. I have never eaten any kind of guava as delicious as guava. The fruit is small and medium, soft but also hard, crispy, with a slightly yellowish green skin. Bite a piece of guava, clearly feel the aroma, sweetness, and crunchiness of the countryside.

That pond, my father used to drop some fish such as catfish, carp, perch. From time to time, my father would pull down the big hooves from the kitchen attic, saying “today, let the whole family eat fresh”

Every time he took off his hooves and got a fish, Dad stood in the pond and threw it on the yard. The sisters competed to put them in a plastic container. Sesame fish, always cook banana flower catfish. Later, I rarely eat this dish, the catfish at the market is too big now, it looks scary.

Between the house and the well yard is a large yard. My sisters and I spent our childhood and teenage years there. So many memories. Games such as eating mandarin, playing volleyball, playing skipping rope, playing stacking flower buds… are now just memories. Children now play video games, ball houses… not like children in the past. That yard, still in the photos of the two younger brothers, sitting in a big aluminum pot, next to the red and red Simson motobike…

Well, in the yard, in the past, straw was also dried. My family does not do farming, but neighbors do, and the harvest comes to dry. On a rainy day, please collect them all in a very itchy pile. But thanks to that, there are memories with the smell of straw, the smell of straw. Fragrant, warm, warm. Later, I still remember the smell of buffalo dung on the small road leading to the house. Especially, the smell of buffalo dung after the rain. I don’t know why I’m so impressed with that scent.

My house is in many places, moved many houses. But in memory, that house left in Tho Ha ancient village the most love. Perhaps, because of that place, the sisters lived a quiet and peaceful time. Perhaps, because of the house scene, I often remember and imagine like in a certain fairy tale with the town, with the mulberry tree, the cottage, the earthen wall…



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