Saigon Sunshine

Saigon Sunshine

            Wandering in the center of Saigon, under the extreme sunshine of the early summer, passing through Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, I suddenly remember the song "Ha Dong Silk Dress" with the words "Saigon Sunshine I am away but suddenly remember. It is because you wore Ha Dong silk. I still love the color of that shirt extremely ... I still love the color of that shirt extremely".

           Many people still talk about sudden coming and going rains of Saigon. However, Saigon is the land of hot sunshine. And, I do not know when I myself fell in love with that kittenish color of sunshine. Memories between me and the "City" are sometimes lit with the sunshine, sometimes brilliant, sometimes sweet, sometimes nervous, sometimes warm like arms embracing little cold mornings.

At severe hot noons, I and most Saigon people just want to run away, finding shelters. All over the roads, there are dazzlingly bright sunshine screen causing dazzling. On the corner of the wall, or the corner of the house, the sun darts its light spottily. The roads are shone so brightly, blowing into the air hot vapor of the ground burning the thin and delicate body.

          No mask, no jacket, no gloves, no socks, firmly as pins into wood post, when we arrive home, that two skin colors are visible can surprise us. Going under the perverse sunshine, we feel like our flesh being burnt. Moreover, sweat soaks our body, abundantly from the forehead to the chin, sticking to the ears and the hair, which causes extreme discomfort, especially when the streets are crowded and we have to stop before the red traffic light.

Yet, that horror reminds me of special memories of the back of sweat shirt of my friend when he rode me to school every noon, unfinished stories in school time , fan gentle flaps of my aunts on the platform of the yard at noon when they could not sleep. That annoyed me. It was pitiful to see the sight in which a male neighbor cleared his throat with a cough, then wiped off a stream of hot sweat with his hand, and looked attentively at the motorbike which had been repaired and which was of smelly motor oil. And, ice-cream carts tinkled every time we finished school, the cool of the green, white ice-cream eased the sunshine at noon a little bit. A lot, and a lot of things did occur.

Then late afternoons about two o’clock or later, three o’clock, sunshine reduced a lot, the streets took off stubborn, sour, and scornful outlooks some moments ago. It became gentle but not less mischievous and charming. At some time, it lit up the whole room, and even all the streets, but at the other time, it decreased and hidden behind some clouds, or roamed on the leaves, or played with the gentle wind. Such afternoon sunshine both wanted to pull back splendid moments and wanted to say goodbye hesitantly for fear that people would forget it.

          At this time, the Saigon people pour in the street more. They feel comfortable with that sweet, yellow warmth. It is gentle and it also makes people get gentler. A majority of people enjoy going down the roads to go to somewhere! Afternoon sunshine in Saigon, to me, is smiles with grimace but it is fresh smiles to street vendors ... The fading sunshine color of Saigon in my heart become sacred and strange.

            In the early morning, the sun is shining; the sunshine looks half sleepy, buried, and baked in layers of clouds.

             Some sunshine tries to rise to lay down onto the ground, but it rather thin in the air like dew and smoke. The sky turns out strangely beautiful. Saigon people usually get up early. Some does because of their livelihood. Some does because of their doing morning exercise. Whoever they are, whatever they do: riding a bike, or setting up a stall, or doing aerobics, they have the same feeling of waiting for the sun to shine. That warmth makes the sky shine less the pale and the cold. One morning with a vague warm sunshine, with a glass of soya milk or coffee drops, one watches scattered vehicles, and waits until the streets become crowded. Though it’s not necessary to say, we enjoy endless ease. It seems that the majority of Saigon people start a day like that!

          And me, lightly sunny mornings are the time when I tripped my feet, brushed my teeth, ate hurriedly some things and went to school for a day, with a new job. It is always in a hurry. But, the freshness of a day blows in the warmth of the sunshine always makes me feel buoyant and feel full of love. That was odd!                           Therefore, I love Saigon and the unusual and changeable sunshine.

I suddenly remember a "fall with short hair" which makes Saigon abruptly cool in the song of a romantic musician short time ago. I just realized that Saigon sunshine is also at times cool so much. So quaint! I both dislike and love in me the lyrics "I still love the color of that shirt extremely"

                                                                              Lê Vân – Economics Faculty

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