model: Svetlana Jelchaninova (Спасибо Света, это было очень весело !!!)
Thank you, Sveta, for the fun telling this story together!
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.”
Tanja, Arina and Danil. Mother, daughter and son.
I was overwhelmed by the loving cohesion and affection that was felt between the three on our trip to St. Petersburg. Not intrusive or in vain, but always present.
“It’s true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.”
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
“Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?
We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”
(Haruki Murakami, ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’)