…and? Do you like to count down with me?
Okay! …here we go…
Mtskheta (or Mzcheta) was the ancient capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom from the Third Century BCE to Fifth Century CE. It was also the location where Christianity was proclaimed as the kingdom’s official religion and continues to function as the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Arguably the most well known cathedral in Georgia, Svetitskhoveli is also one of the biggest in the country. Harsh conditions throughout Georgia’s history couldn’t stop the 10-century old building from retaining its beauty. The temple is on another UNESCO World Heritage listing because of its glorious architecture.
Mr. Doung Van Ngo sits like every day at the end of his bench at the Central Post Office in Ho-Chi-Min-City / Vietnam.
Right next to Mr. Ngo a sign that says ‘Public Writer’. A dictionary, a pencil and his little writing pad.
The CPO is a notable building. Spacious, bustling, functional and wonderful to look at in its Art Deco style.
..and (which is not to forget) it donates a little cool, even without air-condition, on this hot day in the end of April.
So I go over to Mr. Ngo and we start to talk in a very warm way.
MARKUS: ” I’m Markus from Germany and I would like to bring an article about you on my photo blog. Mr. Ngo, could you be that kind and tell me in brief a little bit about yourself ?”
MR. NGO: “Of course… ….and with pleasure. I’m 88 years old and since I’m 17 I’m working for that post office here in Ho-Chi-Min-City. Every morning I come here with my bicycle… …which I park always on the outside of the building on a shady spot… …and there was no single day where I missed to go to work… …even during the war. I learned french and english language at school. Against some not truthfully rumors, that say I learned english from some american GIs… …I have to say that is not true, I learned english at school… …but there was an american pilot that teached me the right pronunciation of the ‘th’. By my profession as a translator in french and english language , I offer translation services to people who need my help.”
MARKUS: “And what is this service… …I mean, what do you translate for you clients?”
MR. NGO: “Everything that my clients want me to translate… …documents, forms, letters… …but in times of the internet people are able to translate texts more and more by themselves … …but there are still clients who ask for my service.”
MARKUS: ” You said letters… ..but that sounds very private…”
MR. NGO: ” …that is very privat in deed. There were many letters with very sad and tragic content… …but I translated also many love letters.”
MARKUS: ” Was there a letter which touched you in a way that you still remember?”
MR. NGO: ” I learned to forget contents right away. I take the confidentiality and the trust very seriously. I forget letters immediately.”
MARKUS: ” Mr. Ngo, it was very nice to talk to you. Thank you for that and I wish you further many nice days and success in your profession.”
MR. NGO: ” Thank you.”
Just right back from Cambodia.
…but before I start to publish some stories about that stunning country, I want to say thank you to all cambodian people I’ve met.
Thank you for all the smiles you put on our faces and thanks for all the smiles you gave to us. You are wonderful!
Jim Kopf, writer, photographer, traveler and thinker.
Jim Kopf, creative, sensitive, seeking and expressive.
After our first encounter a few weeks ago, I thought a lot which words would describe the nature of Jim best… …and I think these match pretty well…
“Ich stand auf dem windigsten, höchsten aller Berge
Unter glorreichen Wolken in Silber und Grau
Ich schwamm durch Flüsse und Seen und seltsame Meere
Wie oft hob ich meinen Kopf um in den Tag zu schauen”
“I stood on the windiest, highest of all mountains
Under glorious clouds in silver and gray
I swam through rivers and lakes and strange seas
How many times did I lift my head to look into the day”
All the best for you, your life and your book.