When life gives you rubber dust…

Meeting me at the new pier of Cu Chi tunnels, Adrian immediately asked with his broken English:

How many kilometer is our ride today?

I was stunned. Oh man, not again, I thought. With just 6 hour’s sleep and the boredom of riding the routes over and over again, now my customer is even bringing me more trouble?

Fixing my mindset in seconds, I patiently and professionally explained to Charlene and Adrian the riding route, step-by-step. Charlene fell of the bike after 2 minutes and decide to just get in the van. We look at each other’s face, each get lost in our own thoughts.

“We will see her after 17km. It’s okay”

Most of my ride with Adrian was predictable. I tried to clear my head, riding past by rubber plantations now turning ugly and wet after yesterday rain, stop by our frequent interest points now all becoming meaningless in my numb mind.


After the second rubber plantation, after we stop to see people harvesting latex and exploring that meticulous process. Suddenly, Adrian asked me:

Are you married?

OMG why is he asking that? Isn’t he going with his GF? I thought. Something is wrong here.


“I just got married 3 weeks ago. I am 25.”

@@ Really? I am 25 too. So, this is your honeymoon trip?

I felt an incredible guilt.  If I were Charlene, just got married and have a honeymoon trip, the last thing I wanna do is to let my husband go with a girl then be waiting for them in a van.

After a few small talks question of why I end up here or what I think about HCMC, I asked

So what do you do in your country (I cannot remember the name of that country, an island in Europe)

I am a firefighter.

Really? Do you like your job?

Yes. Very much.

Why do you like it? I mean, Isn’t it a job of danger?

Yes, my dad is a firefighter, too. But when you take people out of buildings and see expression in their face, it is incredible.

Do you keep in touch with people you rescued?

No. Not very often.

That moment shifts my perception forever. Believe it or not, grass looks greener now, sky looks bluer, everything smells good and waiting seems not be an annoyance anymore.

After we met Charlene, we decide to explore a mushroom farm nearby.

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The trip was brief, none of us learned much, and I will never see them again. In fact, very soon I will clear them out of my mind, as the rule of this industry. But nevertheless, with every interaction with people, we all have the choice of letting it turn sour or spicing it up.

So why not the latter?




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