Laugh Out Loud or Sad, Joy or Tear?

“This way, darling,” said the charming young lady, graciously swung the small beam light to show me the way to the restroom, in a bar in a remote province South of Vietnam.

I followed her robotically. She was tall with long hair dyed to red. She wore a very short black skirt and high heels. When she walked, her backside swung and her ivory long leg shined and showed me the way rather than any other light in the bar. The music was so loud. They were playing a remix of Toi Van Nho on the stage just next to us.

Tôi vẫn nhớ câu chuyện tình đầu

Đã ngủ quên trong cõi thâm sâu…

The remix of this old song was so dynamic. The lady singer sang and danced, waving the mic and her body energetically amidst a group of a few more ladies, all in very appealing dresses and movement, very in rhythm with the music even though having nothing to do with the lyrics of Ngan Giang.

The bass sounds vibrated every of our paces. Strolling my way in this music and atmosphere invigorated me, gave me a strange masculine feeling, a we-can-fucking-do-anything feeling.


A gentleman wearing a perfect black suit with a white handkerchief on his chest opened the door of the restroom for me from the inside. He was really big, much bigger than me, dark skinned. When he smiled, his broad face expanded to be even broader showing black and rugged teeth. And he always smiled heartedly whenever he touched eyes with me.

As I expected, the interior was clean and unnecessarily too shining. The light was dim but brighter than it was outside.

A perfectly arranged pile of tissue folded in triangle shape was placed just next to the lavabo in stone. I washed my hands, waved them slightly and tried to reach for one tissue just to discover that the gentleman was already there with the tissue. He bowed and gave it to me with his two hands. I took one and said thank you.

I headed to the door. The gentleman bowed even lower, opened the door with one hand and the other gave sign to show me the way out, just as if I could get lost if he did not help, and he gave me an even broader smile. I said thank you and my hand reached my trousers’ pocket looking for some money to tip him. He shook his head and said “No, Sir, it is my greatest pleasure tonight to be with you.” His accent was from North Centre of Vietnam.


I retrieved my place next to my friends and the rising political star of the town, Trung. He was laughing and seemed not ready to pop out of this bar as he had done with other places. Four to five girls were now around the table. One was opening another bottle, possibly a VSOP cognac due to the bottle’s slender shape.

“What took you so long? I thought you got lost and tried to send a squad to look for you, haha,” Trung spoke to me, and then turned to one of the girls. “Babe, this is my friend, back from Europe, take care well of him, huh.”

I took out my phone, wiped my finger on Facebook, there was a post on Doan Trang Pham about Priest Nguyen Dinh Thuc. He was at the moment being arrested or under risk of being attacked by the authorities or some local residents. Just been able to see some photos of broken glasses and red, blood? Dangerous it is tonight for him. Poor Priest, he informed people about the bad environment caused by Formosa and took people to sue this company and now others were calling to expel him and threatened him. I slid my finger to icon Sad below the post.

The girl leant over to me, engulfed me with her breath and her perfume. She heated me up.

“Put down your phone, be with me, darling, give me the phone, I am yours, my love,” she murmured to my ears.

She grabbed the phone from me. I struggled to keep but too late, she put the phone inside of her and got hold of me. My eyes were blurred by her breath. I just had enough time to ask myself whether I had chosen below the status about the danger for Priest Thuc icon Sad or Laugh Out Loud.

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