Kids playing ‘badminton’ in Yangon, Myanmar reminds me of my childhood using plastic box covers and hairtie to play with my cousin in 1996/7 ~ after a while, we were taken to a shop to buy our first real badminton set for 60,000 VND (less than 3 US dollars now)

Cho tôi một vé đi về tuổi thơ 👣

summer 2016

người con gái Việt Nam da vàng

vỉa hè…


Việt Nam…

hơi buồn…

người con gái Việt Nam da vàng

yêu quê hương như yêu đồng lúa chín

người con gái Việt Nam da vàng

yêu quê hương nước mắt lưng tròng

another petition?

maybe Vietnam has to die

to be born again…

we’re gonna be

sinking soon

we’re gonna be sinking soon


hold your breath

coz we’re gonna be sinking soon

cứ trôi thôi

rồi kiếp này cũng hết

để là đất

là cây

20. 3. 2017

đông tây

lived in the west

long enough

to hold dearly

the hidden charm

of a girl


to find the attraction

to an eastern guy

an ‘oriental’


vécu dans l’ouest

assez longtemps

pour tenir tendrement

le charme caché

d’une jeune fille


de trouver

de l’attrait

pour un gars de l’est

une sensation


sống bên phía Tây

đủ lâu

để nâng niu

cái đẹp

ẩn giấu

của em

kín đáo

để cảm thấy

phương Đông

khi để ý đến anh

20. 3. 2017


parents is a meal

we’re born into,

grew from then apart

reaching towards the sun,

taking in the rain

the root is there

to keep us grounded


reminds us




bố mẹ là bữa ăn

mình sinh vào

lớn lên, bay đi

với tới trời

uống mưa

rễ níu lại

cho vững chãi

nỗi buồn

nhắc nhở

niềm vui

quấn quýt

trong nhau

20. 3. 2017

the meaning of life

the meaning of life seems to be sharing the seemingly meaninglessness of life with one another when we question the meaning of life…

winter blues, deadlines, some rejections, some emotionally unavailable romance, social/ family/ fertility pressure, transition time with rent ~ food ~ allergies, new covid phase and fear, war newsfeed, others’ sadness… a little bit of everything are finally piling up and hitting me these (later in the) days mentally physically

earlier in the days i can still sing and dance, yet when the night comes, it darkens my world bits by bits ~ maybe that’s how winter colours life. is spring here before the intense summer ~ why am i still living in the concrete city with its hardened soul covered by pollution, noise and piled up pains, good food and lively romance in central hanoi until the msg/ pesticides upset my body like a complicated relationship…

i thought if there would be another lockdown, i should move somewhere with more nature. i guess there won’t be official lockdown any more but our own locking until down…

our minds are told to be like city road maps yet our emotions weave and intertwine as endless roots in jungles

p.s. the bored politicians/ power gamers can gather in some stadium and fight among themselves and let civilians alone? who want to support that can pay for the tickets to watch them?

6. 3. 2022


In Hanoi when I was going to (elite) schools, I was asked by friends’ parents about my parents’ jobs. Some were not allowed to be friends with me because my parents are not ‘elite’ as theirs.

I am later aware that my mum’s more intellectual and knowledgable about health, music, ethics than some of those who look or sound more ‘elite’ because of their or their husbands’ job statuses. My mum and I actually had the same biology teacher in highschool though she went to a village one, the teacher was teaching there due to the war in Hanoi. Though she didn’t get her degree from a top college, she is passionate and thirsts for knowledge in what she cares about and those that matters actually. She quit state job after the communism time to have a food stall close to our house to take care of me.

In Saigon, when applying for jobs, I am asked by Vietnamese bosses about my parents’ jobs. I then get accepted by them because my parents are not elite meaning they’re not related to the government I would guess.

I would encourage my mum to take a course at GRAIN Cooking Studio to improve her cooking skills and turn her passion in health and food into beautiful dishes inside out

Thinking about my Couchsurfing host in Begen, Norway who has a degree in Archaeology and is happy working in a bar where minimum wage is twice compared to England’s and still reads archaeology books. The young maid who is working for my host in Saigon has been working since 7, got quarrelled at and learns to quarrel back at her bosses, earns more than an average office job and work less, doesn’t know how to read, enjoys watching cartoons in English on TV on comfy sofas at households she work at when the hosts are away at work – probably mostly in offices

2. 3. 2016


holiday time (with screaming from families in my neighbourhood for a few days now) shows us the need of family teamwork & communication training

i’m coming home with a camera – a reminder to observe, listen and learn more about my parents, relatives, present and past, corners of the house we live in

many thanks dear Hanoi DocLab people for your support ♡

26. 1. 2017


unfolds in front of my eyes with generous lines of trees, peaceful speed of life and gentle, respectful people. Wooden floors, tricycles, 1920s colonial feel. Motorbikes are not allowed here, public bus service can be chaotic.

Yangon seems like a fusion of Hanoi in the 90s with bits and bits of modernity and *democracy*. It feels like traveling with a time machine to the past, present and (political) future.

Developing countries, smile ~ breathe and go slowly, please

15 may 2016

~ and that present became history again…

coconut skins

You have fancied that ice-cream coconut for a while. Today you finally bought it, turns out they put factory ice-cream inside the coconut right in front of you.

Your dad ‘likes that you’re interested in a green forest film event’ at L’espace on Facebook because he ‘follows’ you. He and your aunt both like your post though they argued and don’t talk in real life, now they get to see nice chosen photos of each other online.

After an(other) anthropology talk-discussion event, which is often a good masturbation for the mind, you and the speaker talked about study options to end up with – the happiest thing to do is probably to grow vegetables. But of course you gotta try it first, you might not be able to. We’ll see.

The ice-cream is alright, because you’re sitting on a beanbag looking to West Lake with some wind playing around you.

4. 4. 2017


you can hold her hand
and show her how you cry
explain to her your weakness so she understands
and then roll over and die

you can brave decisions
before you crumble up inside
spend your time asking everyone else’s permission
then run away and hide

you can sit on chimneys
with some fire up your ass
no need to know what you’re doing or waiting for
but if ever anyone should ask
tell them, i’ve been licking coconut skins,
and we’ve been hanging out
tell them, God just dropped by to forgive our sins,
and relieve us our doubt

you can hold her eggs
but your basket has a hole
you can lie between her legs and go looking for
tell her you’re searching for her soul

you can wait for ages
watch your compost turn to coal
but time is contagious
and everybody’s getting old

so you can sit on chimneys
with some fire up your ass
no need to know what you’re doing or looking for
but if ever anyone should ask
tell them, i’ve been cooking coconut skins,
and we’ve been hanging out
tell them, ‘God just dropped by to forgive our sins,
and relieve us our doubt

coconut skins ~ damien rice, to all the confused boys in/ out of love

covid please

release us

we’ll feed you indeed

from our breathing out

can you hide in the cloud

no need to give us a shout

just be there and chill out

take care of your crowds

has it been fair enough

for humans to balance what we’ve caused

locked down in the house

with fears to embrace

to play more indoor

reflecting on our cores

instead of more, more, more

treating our sores

and flaws

draw our dreams

watching old films

streaming with our teams

making our own creams

parents living together peacefully, finally

mum even made apple cider vinegar

and practised yogaaa

thank you for pushing us inwards

with your swords through our chests

to rest and balance the harmony we lost

when we fought for what we got caught in

to be seen with what we “should” be keen on

to clean our sins

has it been enough

breathing in

we release you, covid

breathing out

please go play above the clouds

and slow down

~ sam, scribbling in bed before and after sleeping

17 feb 2022, hanoi ~ with omicron spreading

new home, february 2022