Not necessarily a specific topic or anything, just a stream of thoughts.
Hi. I’m usually known as Chewy, and this should be my last post of 2020. This also could come out at a weird time in the GMT+7 time zone, but hey.
30th of December. Almost the last day of the year.
4:16 PM while writing this one.
Just a few hours back, I came across a Facebook post. From Nhã Nam Books n’ Coffee.
Trần Huy Liệu.
They said that, today would be their last day, that they’re saying farewell. And that they hoped to be back some day. Or at least, that’s what they’re saying.
Gotta say, I was shocked. For real. Never thought that this day would come. Not at all. Just the other day, I was talking to Anna, we were sitting and being reminiscent of our 12th-grade days. She was the one who made me read a lot of books back then. And the first to tell me about the place.
I remember riding her on my motorbike, along some of the busiest streets of Hà Nội. We would meet every Wednesday outside of my class. Oh, did I tell you, that we literally studied next door, literally, throughout our 3 high school years? No? Well now you know hi.
Back in Ams, Wednesdays only consisted of not five, but three lessons. Started at 7:30. And at 10:05, sometimes 10:10, Anna would already be standing outside of my classroom waiting for me. Back then, the name “Anna” did not exist. Only Regina, and a bunch of other names. (I mean, when has she not got a bunch of names anyway^^). To me, she was Reg. Always has been.
(And a truck. a mONsTertruck. Well that’s a whole other story, ain’t it?)
(Also aLwaYs HAs BeEn)
Anyways. On the road, we would talk about anything in the world. Hardly ever was there anything but stories after stories, discussions after discussions, debates after debates. Books after books. And came her suggestion.
A bookstore. No. A café. Also no. Not really.
What the hell is a “book n’ coffee”? What the hell is a “cà phê sách”?
Me, never heard of.
“Thế thì hôm nào tớ sẽ lôi cậu đi cà phê sách!”
One Wednesday. Two of us. One Nhã Nam Trần Huy Liệu.
One of the best experience bar none.
Hell I don’t even know if I could ever forget that day. As if I ever want to.
An atmosphere so warm and cozy, a bit of livelihood in it with the sound of the blender, yet so relaxing and peaceful. A library still.
Tranquil. That’s the word.
That’s our word.
Since then, the place had always been my hiding spot. My fortress of solitude. With or without Reg, I would come and sit for hours before class, or during wandering, or simply, just because.
That’s what Nhã Nam brought my mind.
That’s what Nhã Nam brought me.
Today I cried a bit. Multiple reasons why. Who knows.
Thank you Nhã Nam. Nhã Nam Trần Huy Liệu. For everything.
Thank you Reg. Thank you Anna. For.
2021. Here I come.