#boatpeople #bikepeople, the pain trivialized by a generation of hashtags, the contradictions of festering news brought to you by social media. Romancing a history of painful memories, the images, the useless tears. The post-traumatic trauma brought to you by Mr. Zuckerberg. More useless tears. 

The exodus of people poured out of Saigon on lockdown. The forgotten citizens, paperless, homeless, in search of shrapnel, to survive. When there is not a single coin left, discarded on the pavement, they return to their roots. On foot, on bikes empty of fuel. They pushed their way home.

Vividly in my memories the bus stop under a blanket of yellow street lamps. Siblings huddled together on a plastic mat in our mother’s arms, the sleep took us in exhaustion as my father kept watch. The thieves amongst thieves, pale white city folks amongst the sun-harden villagers, the silent whispers. 

August 2021

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet, and translator, was born in 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.


  1. I get so angry at the GOP white nationalists who vilify migrants from anywhere. Any human being under the threat of violence, famine, crime and war, is going to try to flee to where they think they can survive.

    No, we cannot save everyone, we cannot let everyone stay. But we should always treat our fellow humans with dignity, and value, and when possible always give them a chance to stay.

    I have wonderful neighbors whom are from south of the border somewhere. I do not know their paperwork status, I will never ask, and I do not care. I have lived next to them for 15 years now, without one lick of trouble. Why would I not want peaceful humans living next to me?

    Why should their skin tone or national origin matter to me? There is far too much war in the world, and nobody wins ever. But while there is always tyranny to stand up to, bullies to stand up to, we must always see our fellow humans as just that, human.

    Liked by 1 person

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