All posts filed under: Literature

To All My Faux Aunties and Uncles…

Dear Aunties and Uncles: I now know the purpose you served… For years, growing up, it was never properly explained to me. Perhaps my parents lacked the words I would understand. Perhaps it was more than that. Because of that communication gap, I genuinely believed that everyone my mom and dad introduced me to, was my blood relative. That meant that when I went to my American grade school and people asked me about my family, I inadvertently lied. “I’m the youngest of 8. I know, big family. Both of my parents have like 13 brothers and sisters each. I haven’t even met all of them! Well, some died in the war, of course. I never knew my grandparents.” I guess I should be happy I grew up in a state surrounded by Mormons and Catholics. Big families weren’t anything new to them. But, for the skeptical others that dared to question my authenticity? I was sure self-righteous in my defense of my village-like family! At a certain point, I reached an age where I started questioning …

The Young Mother: The Story of an Arranged Marriage

The sun was getting real low and there was nothing whatsoever to do in my dingy room at the guesthouse. I was stuck. Viengthong District, a small, rural town deep in the mountainous heart of Bolikhamxay Province, is a town with absolutely no single point of interest. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and lush, green forests; the main road cuts through the heart of the town, a point that originates from an intersection that diverts to Lak Sao. Lak Sao, a logging hub once bustling with commuting traffic in and out of Vietnam, remains the destination of the road. Lak Sao, located in the the northern reaches of Laos, not Viengthong District, is why you might encounter another human being. I was bored. Pulling the cobwebs from my mind, I let my natural search for adventure guide me. I slipped on my running shoes and stepped out for a walk. Walking around, you’d see what you’d typically see in a lightly developed, rural town in Laos: cattle roaming freely on the road, the occasional …