Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Death in an Alley

I have been meaning to have a post about life in the alleyway or hẻm, where I live. I was going to write about knife sharpeners and recyclers in the morning, crowds gathered in the alleyway watching a soap opera or singing karaoke on a tiny television in a house and white-collar workers sitting on plastic chairs eating lunch. There are also chickens running around (The Boyfriend likes to warn "bird flu, bird flu" when he sees them), rice and onion being dried out in the sun, and rats scurrying around at night. However, I did not think I would include anything morbid.

My Vietnamese teacher came in today: "Did you see THE body?". I actually did see someone lying on a cot in the alleyway, head covered. Someone was massaging the person's feet so I assumed maybe it was someone who felt ill. I was SO VERY wrong. It was a dead body. I have mentioned that there are many homeless people in the city, people who come from rural areas to make money but cannot afford housing. They usually sleep on cots and hammocks at night. My guess is this was such a person or the body would be indoors.

My Vietnamese teacher is very amusing because she is very superstitious. I think this is characteristic of many Vietnamese people. She warned me about not looking at the body ("Did you already look at it?" she asked in panic) because it is bad luck. She was worried about The Boyfriend coming home tonight and walking by the body. She was also worried that the body would still be there on Friday when I have my next lesson.

Honestly, I have never really thought about how I feel about bodies. I don't usually like open caskets at funeral. I am not superstitious but I have to admit that it is rather creepy or morbid to have to walk by this body whenever I go out. I'm not sure also how a body will fare in this heat outside. I might try to minimize my outings until the body is removed...

1 comment:

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