This story was written by THUY HUA, an ESL 342 student at the college. She tells the story of her Chinese grandparents who emigrated to Vietnam and met with some misfortune. Her Grandmother was clever and beautiful. She used her wits and beauty and rearranged their lives in interesting ways. Read this fascinating tale of female survival in a new country.

 My Grandmother

     My grandmother died when I was two years old, so I can't remember much about her. But my father often told me about her fascinating life.

     My grandmother was a Chinese. She was born in China. She was the most beautiful girl in her country. She got married when she was eighteen years old. Her husband was a businessman. He was a rich and popular person. He liked to travel to many places in the world. He also liked to buy and sell elephant tusks.

     One day, he decided to come to Viet Nam. He and my grandmother came to Viet Nam in 1980. They came to a country which has mountains with many elephants. Before they came to Viet Nam, they learned Vietnamese. They could speak Vietnamese very well. But people who lived in the mountains couldn't speak Vietnamese, so my grandmother and her husband needed a man who could speak the language of the people living in the mountains. Once a week that man took my grandmother's husband up to the mountains to buy elephant tusks. They went two times. The third time my grandmother's husband got sick. And he wanted to spend all of his money to buy elephant tusks one last time. He trusted that man and gave all of his money to him. My grandmother's husband was so sick he couldn't go to with him. The man  took all of my grandfather's money and went up to the mountain, but he never came back. The people in the mountains found my grandmother's husband. They said, "That man took our elephant tusks but he didn't pay yet. We are here to get the money." My grandmother and her husband tried to explain what happened, but the mountain people didn't believe them. They said that if my grandmother's husband didn't pay them, they would kill him.

     After two days, my grandmother still didn't find that man or collect the money. She sat on a rock beside a river. She cried and was scared. While she was crying, a strange man stopped and asked her, "Why are you crying here?" She told him her story. Because my grandmother was so beautiful, he wanted to give her money with one condition. She had to marry him. One day later she discussed this with her husband. Finally they decided to approve his condition. She used his money to buy a poor girl. This girl followed my grandmother's husband back to China.

     The strange man wasn't local there. He had a wife and two children in China. He was a businessman.  He couldn't take my grandmother to his home. So he bought a small house for her to live in and gave her money. He lived with her about two weeks. After that he went back home to China and left her alone in Viet Nam. He promised that he would visit her the next month.

     My grandmother knew how to make wine, so she opened a wine store. Her wine was wonderful. More and more customers came to buy it. The men, after drinking wine,  often flirted with her. She was angry and fought them. (She learned Kungfu when she was ten years old.). Later on she became popular for her beauty, wine, and Kungfu.

     The strange man visited her for two months one time. After one year, he left his family and lived with her forever. They had two children, one girl and one boy. But their daughter got sick, and she died when she was six years old. Their son is my father. The strange man is my grandfather.

     My grandmother had so many problems in her life. Her life is like a movie. Even though I didn't live with her, I love her so much.