Back in the driver’s seat

I’ve never driven a car in all of the long spells I’ve spent overseas. Due to my not having an International Driving Permit, as well as a general lack of opportunities in the countries I’ve visited and lived, I’ve only gotten the rare opportunity to ride in someone...

Thoughts on the “nuclear” family

I can report that my parents are still doing well, despite the virus that’s threatening us all. For the past few years my parents have lived here by themselves, retired and advancing into their senior years but otherwise happy and active. But now their oldest son has...

A nice but strange homecoming

I think I had forgotten exactly how much I had missed winter in Michigan. Despite wreaking hell on my nasal passages, there is something electrifyingly rejuvenating in inhaling the crisp outdoor air, with its ubiquitous scent of campfire. Even its chilly caress on my...

A reflection on hospitality

Sometimes, I will not have walked 10 yards before the next invitation into someone’s house. It has happened so often that the motions have sort of become joyfully repetitive. I remove my shoes and step through the colorful, low-hanging doorway, sit on the raised bed...

The slipperiness of time

“You know, this day isn’t really important for Vietnamese people,” my friend said as we sat on the balcony overlooking the market. The morning sun lit up her face in crisp relief. There was a fair breeze in the air from the nearby river. I picked at my chocolate...