Special gift to me
What brought us together? You couldn’t say, nor could I. But I do believe that if we were predestined to meet, sooner or later we would be by each other’s side. Yes, we met in my first month here.
Six months is not a long time, but is enough for me to understand how important you currently are in my life.
You often call me a “spicy queen” because I always put extremely hot red pepper in almost every food that I make or have. You love our tasty Vietnamese dishes, but sometimes you’re scared of my foods because they are too spicy for you. For me, a dish is not a dish if it is not spicy. You gawked when you saw me bite the hottest red pepper I bought in the supermarket, but I said it was not spicy at all.
I love apple pies, and you usually buy one for me when you return from McDonald’s. Thank you for always thinking of me.
I love Vietnamese food and often say “no” if you offer me food when I am having my own food. I know that might hurt you but to me, honesty is the best policy. I don’t mean to boycott American food; I just prefer to have it separately.
We are both teachers and students of each other. You help me learn a lot a about American culture and how to be well-behaved in your society. You teach me new English words, slang and persistently correct my mispronunciation when we talk. Whenever you suddenly change your voice, I know that I have just mispronounced a word. Our talk only continues when I pronounce it right. You say that I mispronounce not because I do not know how to pronounce but because I am lazy.
Yes, my mouth feels tired from stressing first and last sounds when I speak English. Our language does not require that at all. You love learning Vietnamese, but I am not fully devoted to teaching you. You are very smart and quickly absorb what I teach you and practice the words right away. I love hearing you say “how are you?” (Châu có khỏe không?) and “good night” (Chúc Châu ngủ ngon) in Vietnamese. I wish we could speak in my language.
I love Vietnamese ballads, and one night you listened to one of my favorite songs. You loved its melody and asked me to translate it into English. You looked quite upset and thought I had been insincere when I forgot to keep my promise.
You laughed a lot when I told you that I signed up for that course “to prepare for the near future, no for the far future, that if you open a representative office in Vietnam and need a native assistant, I would be eligible and ready to work for you.”
You usually want me to join your friends’ parties or hang out with them. But I didn’t manage to go with you, even once. I wanted to introduce you to my Vietnamese friends when they came here, but I couldn’t because you were always out of town when they arrived.
Whenever you get back from your trip, we always catch up with each other right away, like two birds singing.
Whenever I have a concern, you are always by my side. You always show me a better way to go. You said that I am your adviser because, to you, a journalist is knowledgeable. For me, you’re my consultant and loyal listener because you are a businessperson who is well-experienced and knows how to listen to customers.
I think I would need at least a day to tell all the moments that we spent together.
I often tell you jokingly about my wish of marrying you because you are so sweet to me. That would happen if I were a man. But I prefer being female, and so do you. What is vital is that we both have been enjoying our “roommateship.”
Thank you, Evette Archer, for being my roommate. I do love to hear you calling me “my roommate.”
From the bottom of my heart, your presence in my life here is like a special gift offered to me by the United States.