Thonau's diary

This diary is made for my lovely honey, thonau. I hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It's been 55 days since my grandpa passed away. Last thursday was a 50-day-memorial at my house and at the pagoda. I missed all that. I even missed the moment he left the world, and the funeral.

I have been absurdly normal for the last 2 months. The only time I really cried was the day I heard the news. And actually, grandpa was already in his "last home" then. I was not told about his death until my final exams were over. That was his last wish to my family. He could not say anything about me when asked but cried. And the image of my grandpa crying on the hospital bed, really skinny and tired, was flying in my mind anytime I think about him. But I just can't cry. Part of the reason is I can not believe it's true. Maybe I was not there the minute he passed away. Maybe I was not taking care of him in his last days in this world. But even grandma and mom and aunt Chau can not believe in this reality either. They thought he was just gone somewhere. No one in my family can ever accept the fact that grandpa will never be with us anymore. I won't be able to see him the next time I am home. No one will listen to me talking about my French professor, or the cool instruments we got in our department, or join me in the politics talks. No one will be there in our meals to ask how everyone's doing in the day, and talked eagerly about random things that bring the whole family together. It's just impossible

The entire family was there when grandpa said his last words. Some 40 people, daddy said. Everyone, but me, the girl grandpa has taught from the first alphabet letter to the elegant and romantic French poems; the girl that he made memorizing an entire kid's English dictionary in one day; the girl that he puts so much hope in, with all his caring and love. I missed an entire chapter of his life, not knowing the feelings he went through and the pains he had to suffer. Some 300 people attended grandpa's funeral, I must be the only one who was not there. When I get home this Christmas, I will just see a cold, non-feeling, souless, cruel piece of stone on which engraved his name. Never can I see his smiling face again.

All that, I still can't cry. I has been so normal, so ignorant, so cold, at the same time so hurted. I just can't express my feeling. I just can't say anything. I tried to be calm anytime I call home, ensuring my family that I am ok, and that they should get relieved since grandpa was so when he died. He had fought against diabetes for the last 16 years, and it's just time he had to go. I have hold my tears inside, wishing that grandpa is happy and relieved whenever he is, and that I will try to accomplish the goals that he has placed hopes on for me.

And I did not cry, at all. Until the minute I went to Wal-mart and saw sugar-free candy...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Tet Han thuc nho banh troi banh chay

I made banh troi banh chay last year with chi Thanh when we were on duty together. I totally forgot that yesterday was Tet Han thuc and forgot to buy materials to make these awesome dishes. I remembered our neighbor at home used to sell this stuff on 03/03 Lunar calendar for those who wanted to save time not going through the hassles themselves. I don't see any problem with making banh troi, banh chay. Especially now you can buy the pre-made dough instead of soaking the flour for a day. People should make them more as a way to understand the traditional cuisine. I myself love these traditional stuff. It's so much fun and relaxing to make this dish, especially with a friend. That reminds me of chi Thanh a lot. I miss her and miss cooking with her, my lovely sister.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My cutie little niece

This is my niece. Isn't she so cute. She was born when I was at home, and I got to hold her like everyday until I left for the States. Her name is Lena, and it actually took her parents weeks after she was born to finalize on that name. Born on a full moon day, 3.9kg (8.6lbs), she is foreseen to be a clever yet stubborn girl. Well, we'll see how that goes but for now, she already weighs 6kg after 1month and 15 days. Her mom told me that "trom via" she's so well-behaved and only cries when she needs to eat or to be changed. But her dad is funny enough to feed her anytime she cries no matter what. :D.

UPDATE: She's now 6-month old, really pretty, with lighter complexion and that makes her mom really really happy. She visited my parents recently and was doing a little salsa dance on her dad's lap although she barely know how to crawl. :D

Sunday, March 05, 2006

When things go wrong

My mom called me on Thursday night. It's never a good sign when she called me anytime other than weekend. I just got done with my last exam that morning and I feel pretty excited that spring break is coming so close. Until I heard my mom saying that my grandpa is too sick, and he has been staying in the hospital the last four days. Although she tried to tell me to keep calm and that's things would be ok, I know it may not be. I can tell through her voice how serious it's getting to be. When I decided to go home for X-mas, I knew it might be the last time I got to see my grandpa. But I tried to avoid thinking about it. I tried hard to think that it'd be fine like it has been for a long time. I bought a phone card to talk to my grandpa in the hospital. He seemed to be fine, and persuaded me that there's nothing to worry about. But he could not talk for so long, and that often means he's not feeling well enough to keep talking. And the tears just kept rolling down my face and I didn't know what to do anymore :(

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back to OWU

It has been a while since my last post. Six months, actually, time just flew by before a blink. I have been back to OWU for 3 weeks and school started 10 days ago. Things go well mostly. This is the first year I am on the RA staff and the job does take quite a lot of time in my day. Three times in a row I am on duty and somebody waked me up at 3 am complaining about sth. And there went my whole night. But in most part it's fun. Like we have a real fire alarm before the fire drill, I have a double-as-single room and a roomate, who's actually my co-RA, living at the other end of the hall-way. We walked by the hallway zillion times a day and see each other half of those times. It's really nice to have a roomate without having to share the bedroom.

When I left Vietnam, my grandpa was still in the hospital. He took a heart attack earlier, not so serious, fortunately. However, when taken to the hospital, he was immediately transfered to the emergency room for an artery surgery. He was very weak after that, and I felt really bad when I had to leave for school. When old people get to some certain age, you can't tell what will happen and when.

Monday, March 14, 2005

When I was small, I loved to read "Nhan Dan"-Voice of the Vietnamese Communist Party. For some reasons, those political news and social issues fascinated me more than comic books or cartoons. (Not that I didn't like anything else, just I didn't like contemporary stories and cartoons that much. And there weren't a whole lot of decent comics and cartoons at that time anyway). I dreamt that when I grew up, I would be a great great politician, or at least a goverment official, who would change things to the ways they should be.

Most people, including me, does not follow their childhood innocent dreams along the run. Some do, though, and people laugh so hard at somebody who says "I do this or that because I had dreamt of it since I was small". They think that sounds weird, even deceiving in some sense. But I think that's ok, as long as their dreams are practical and that there's reasons to believe one should follow what one thought at "stuffy nose" age they should do in the future.

Now of course I don't know what on earth I should do for the rest of my life. My father insists that I am a study girl and I will be student forever. And that if I can survive through Ph.D I will choose sth else to go to school for. Don't misintepret that as if I were a hardworking student. I am a typical lazy student who'd rather spend the whole spring break watching hundreds of movies than do anything to clear out the two-page list of things I should have done already. I know I want to do pharmacy, and as the cost of medicine in Vietnam is just as ridiculous as in America, it is possible for me to make a fortune. But that's if I ever own a company. And that means I should study more on Eman. Huh, but that may also lead to your seeing me sitting in an accounting office or Bank of America. Then life is screwed up. Being a doctor is great too, you can be your own boss, but that means at least ten more years of school, then my father is right. Acceptable premise defended in a cogent subargument (Brave got that worng in the exam).

In any case I would not see myself as a politician or goverment official, not anymore. I feel really bad anytime I read news on terrible accidents that deprive the lives of many innocents, or catastrophies, or just anything unsolvable involving substandard living and inappropriate policies. Yes I care, as much as any of you may care, if not more. I really care and I want to care. But I can't do much even if I would be elected to a crucial position that may change something. Improving our people's lives is too difficult and time consuming. Long way to go. Pessimistic I am not, but when one blames a leader for not fulfilling his tasks the way he should, I take it simply that he just can't . Politicians are elected to hear critics, but that does not means they are false. It's just that we are depressed and we criticize them. And I don't like to hear unnice things, so I just won't be a politician.

Nevertheless I am still crying for the unlucky people, and sad, and depressed, and going insane as I always am. I can't stand the tragedy. It's too much for me to handle. But I won't be a politician by any mean, and I will keep crying and sad, and depressed, and going insane.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The road to forgiveness

I accidentally got into reading this book because Brave cleaned out his drawers and intended to throw it away. The title is pretty simple yet catchy. As I started reading the book, I felt a big theme of God admiration and belief that the authors embedded in their story. Two happy parents were shocked when they lost their mother and daughter at the same time in an accident caused by a drunk driver. A tragedy, a lost, a nightmare, a sadness and angers are possibly seen. Suffering from the terrible incident, the couple tried to think openly and believe in God's guide to their lives. They finally forgive the "murderer" and befriended with her. As much as I don't like all the monologues with Gods and the religious parts of the story, I love the way the story ended and how the couple pass through " the road to forgiveness". It was not easy as we might think. There's always a self-contradiction in each of us anytime we try to forgive someone. But we need forgiveness to move on, and life needs forgiveness to be pink. Anytime that there's a possible thing to be forgiven, let's do so as you would feel much relieved. Forgiving someone is to open an exit for that person and you as well. Sometimes it's hard to forgive, but overcome your own selfishness and do the best you can.