Tag Archives: Vietnam

The Ones Left Behind

copyright David Stewart

The Ones Left Behind

After an hour, I gave in and texted again.

Did you have supper? It was after breakfast, mid-evening over there.

No reply. My heart beat faster, irrationally. His friend Amber was there too. She’d learned Vietnamese, he’d said.

The phone chimed. I jumped for it.

“Is that Stan?” my husband asked from the kitchen.

“Yeah.”

He came over to read the reply.

Yep!

A picture popped up of a glowing building and a lotus flower fountain.

“It’s gorgeous,” I said. “My lucky little boy. Still, I worry.”

“He’ll be fine. After all, he’s nine now. He’s not a baby anymore.”

*

This Friday Fictioneers story is very late, but since Rochelle chose my picture this week as the prompt, I wanted to make sure I wrote one. I took this picture in Ho Chi Minh City when I was there on business a few months ago. I wrote a kid’s book about my travels called Stanley and Amber in Southeast Asia, about a kid and his unicorn friend traveling around Southeast Asia (it started out as a Flat Stanley project for my niece; thus, the name). So, I thought I’d write this from the parent’s perspective.


Sleepless in Hanoi

I normally post only fiction here, but since I’m currently traveling in Southeast Asia for work, I have more than my normal share of interesting stories to share.

Because I’m traveling for work, I actually have to work even in the evenings, although I’m sure some people think I’m just on vacation. This involves hours of emails and other computer work and since I don’t like sitting alone in my hotel room for hours, I like to go to coffee shops

This evening after dinner, I found a second-floor coffee shop on a main road in Hanoi and ordered a medium milk coffee. However, when they brought it, there was almost nothing in the cup. This wasn’t a small, let alone a medium. It looked like the dregs left over when someone finishes their drink. I brought it up and asked about it just to make sure I’d gotten the right thing. They said they’d bring another cup even though I insisted it wasn’t necessary.

Image

Then I tasted it. It was definitely NOT milk coffee. It was very strong and tasted quite like . . . I checked the receipt and yep, they had given me an espresso. I had asked for a ca phe sua (milk coffee) and she had apparently heard the “s” and that was all.

It was about that time that they brought the second espresso. Not only did I feel like a jerk for complaining (from their point of view) that my espresso was too small, but now I had two of them at 8:00 pm. Of course, I wasn’t obligated to drink them, but hey, it was free coffee.

Well, at least I can get a lot done tonight.


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