20 July 2006

Fonder Memories From D Block

Lest you think all my memories from D Block of the Nguyen Van Thoai apartment complex were bad ones. I do have other, fonder memories. Like the time I transported my father by bicycle somewhere far from our home. I just finished learning how to bike but never before had my father as a passenger on the backseat of the bicycle. My father was a heavyset when compared to other people in Viet Nam. It was a challenge that I welcomed. We went somewhere far, and I still can vividly recall the instance when some passerby commented, "Why you make your son do so much work?" My father replied with a laughter, "Because he enjoys it." And enjoyed it I did.

I cannot recall how I learn how to bicycle. Certainly it wasn't with training wheels. And no helmets either. I think it was after April 30, 1975 that we started to have a bicycle in the house. Before that, my father had a moped. Maybe after 30th of April (Ba Mu+o+i Tha/ng Tu+), as we would normally call the historic date, gasoline became too expensive, so we used bicycles as an alternative mean of transportation. We even went into the business of selling bicycle parts. Somehow my father knew some supplier, we got a bunch of pieces spread on a tarp or something like that on a sidewalk, and we were in business. Being articulate as he was, my father even made friends with people whose houses we did business in front of.

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