18 September – At Cozy NA Cafe

To get ready for the interview with Chi Ph, I had to read all the documents sent by Chi H in the morning. The documents sent were about the Coalition’s work in getting the feedback of the peasants for the amendments of the Land Law which was passed in 2013 and was effective on April 2014. Further, they had an evaluation of what the government adapted and what the government dropped from their suggestions.

The area of the Cafe is four bus stops from where I live. I had to wait for 10 minutes at the stop on TXS but the ride was quick. Then I set out to look for the Cafe. I got confused at first so I mustered all the stored knowledge I had with the use of lanes and alleys as well as the conventions in assigning numbers to houses or establishments. Ry0-san and I did get lost when we looked for this resto on😄, HT a couple of weeks ago.

I finally found the spot nestled behind the fence of a special school for music. So that’s why I saw a lot of shops for musical instruments on the road. It was a bit dark but the ambiance was very quaint and cozy.

I wonder what it takes to study here.

I wonder what it takes to study here.

I sent Ch Ph a message that I was there already and sat near the counter. A few other young people sat with me and began speaking in Vietnamese about love. Aah. The perks of being young. Haha.

Then Ch Ph went downstairs and we began talking. She was very open and lively. She knows the topic very well. So I learned about how their Coalition engages with the government. I also learned about their efforts at bridging the peasants to the government. It was interesting to note that the issue of land recovery isn’t the only matter they are looking at. They are also looking at the various proposed laws concerning freedom of association and expression. They work with the MA and the WB. She could connect me to these agencies that are pertinent to my data gathering but she warns that they don’t have much time. In this case, she promised to send official presentations on the Land Law and its recent amendments, among others.

Chi Ph and I talked for about an hour and a half but since I found the Cafe comfortable, I decided to do some email duties. Then the staff of the cafe sat beside me and initiated a conversation. I didn’t mind the friendliness at all. What surprised me was the fact that she told me about her current heartache. I don’t know if I should feel privileged of the trust she gave me right then and there or if I should feel awkward because we barely know each other.

Looking at it from the perspective of personal narratives, Roxana Waterson is right. People love to talk and they love to talk about themselves. Since she is a lesbian and very open about it, I would deduce that she is part of the generation that has seen the gradual opening up of this country to LGBT rights. Regarding matters of the heart, well, I don’t do research on this. Like all types of pain, it may not go away but gets less painful in due time. Since I couldn’t say anything much to comfort her, I just introduced her to the music of one of my favorite bands…which she immediately liked.

And at the end of the day, I went home, crossed the dense intersection below, and reflected on how this chaos seems to have a sense of order, nevertheless.

Zoom in and check out the dense intersection.

Zoom in and check out the dense intersection.

So it may be a Friday night but I had to stay home. I had to prepare for a special interview the following day. It will be an attempt to get a personal narrative of an important person. And I should be wide awake. Plus, I had to review Moyer’s guidelines and my own notes on Personal Narratives.

OT: This Cafe is an old one and this is a venue for CSOs to gather and share insights on pertinent issues. As of the time of writing, they have a discussion on TPP and labor on Saturday morning. I am invited. Yay!

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