Last Nha Trang coffee

‘Henry’ , Hung Nguyen, above left, and myself, right.

This morning was the last episode of a ritual which has been an anchor for me here in Nha Trang.

That’s “Henry” ( Hung Nguyen to his mother ) above left, and a foreign interloper above right.

In between the usual Chewing of Fat, Henry ,as always, demonstrated typical Vietnamese generosity and grace. I left loaded with ( coffee-related ) gifts, and he left with some books I gave him.

Henry’s been a major support in surviving here in Nha Trang. He’s educated me in Vietnamese ways, fuelled me with excellent coffee, offered a wise sounding board, and got me through the trauma of the bike accident.

That last involved at least two days of his time, among everything else he does, for example, tending to his family ( married with two young sons ), and managing several businesses.

In return, I’ve taught him some English – he can now easily chat over many subjects – and, I hope, been a friend. I’m very well aware that I owe him far more than he owes me.

Here’s to you, Henry, a gentleman and a scholar, and someone I’m proud to call a friend.

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