A DAY IN SAIGON By Giang, age 10

When my mom and I got out of the airport, the afternoon heat enveloped us. Many of my relatives stood on the sidewalk waiting for us. My cousin Ngan faked a smile. Long, black hair covered her eyes. My other cousin, Tam waved. Sweat ran through his hair. His eyes were swimming with happiness. Tam said, “We should leave now and go eat.” My mom got in a taxi. She asked me if I wanted to go with her. I said no and got on my cousin’s motorcycle.

We took off and the sticky air flew past us. The sun burned my skin. The street was full of motorcycles, the sidewalks were cracked and trash was everywhere. Gasoline was the only thing I could smell. My cousin went really fast and I almost fell off. I yelled, “I’m going to fall.” The motorcycle slowed down. The smell of sewage hit me. I asked him, “Why does it stink so much?”

He said, “This is where people throw their trash.”

I looked down. We were on a small bridge. Trash rotted in the water below.

“Why would people throw their trash here?”

“I don’t know.”

My shirt was covered in sweat. “Can you go any faster?”

“I can’t go any faster.”

“Do you have any water?”


I wondered about my dog. The last time I saw him, he was a puppy. My cousin was taking care of him for me while I was in America. “So how is Lucky?” I said.

“He’s okay.”

The motorcycle stopped in front of a grey house. There were shoes in front of a white door. My cousin parked the motorcycle and we walked inside. The walls where white with a little bit of dust. The stairs were light blue. Large cracks covered them. This was my grandma’s house. I lived here when I was little. My mom and I went inside the kitchen. She started talking to my grandma. A picture of me when I was little was stuck to the refrigerator. I was at the water park splashing water at my mom.

My grandma gave me pho. When I finished eating my mom and I went to our hotel. On the way in, I saw a coin. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. We went to our room and slept. When I woke up it was eleven o’clock. The moonlight shined in my face.

About the Author

Hi! My name is Giang. I’m ten years old. I live with my sister and her baby, my mom, and my mom’s boyfriend, who I think of as my dad. I’m (sometimes) good at getting along with people. I want to be good at drawing. When I grow up I want to be an inventor, so everyone will see the stuff I create. Something that makes me special is that I can get along with people and make them happy (sometimes). What confuses me is why there is life and why we’re all here. If I were a gas, I would be air so I would know everything everyone’s doing. If I had one wish I would wish to be better at math. I am also the author of When My Dog Died.