Page 10 - thedewchronicles
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they said were honest and meaningful. When you talk to a stranger you tend to be 

honest. Most people lie and cheat to someone they know, someone they’re familiar 
with, but rarely to strangers. The most honest words and expressions I’ve ever heard 

amazingly came from strangers I’ve met along the way.

“Life is entirely a gamble” said one old regular shark in Venetian Casino, Macau. 

Everybody called him Big Ass Chang. You could understand that title if you observed 

the size of his figure. Not fat, just... big. “You gambled since the moment you’re born. 
You didn’t know for sure whether you’re going to continue living or whether your 

parents going to feed you or instead put you in a basket and put you down on some 

other family’s front porch. You didn’t know whether you’re going to have proper 
education, proper job, make a proper living or end up being a bum under the bridge. 

So being afraid of taking chances is simply ridiculous. But it’s got to be a calculated 
one.” He took a sip of his whiskey. “Life is a pure expression of chances and 

probabilities. The cards you’re given is your fate, but the way you play those cards is 

what’s really going to make your destiny.” I found it to be so true. It resonates. It can 
only came from a seasoned, well experienced card shark. I took note. He bought me a 

drink and smiled “take your chance...”, then walked away into the noisy crowded spot 

in roulette section.

Once I took a walk down the rice field in Red River delta, northern Vietnam during 

Le Ha Dien festival. They called the rice field Ruong, or Canh Dong in Vietnamese. 
This old farmer, Nguyen, invited me for a lunch in his simple home. He told me 

stories of how his family has grown rice here for generations, when the communist 
party still ruled the land. He laughed heartily in the midst of his stories while Pho is 

served for lunch. Another delicacy. His eyes brightened up each time he memorized 

the best moments of his youth. A few teardrops fell when he thought about the vicious 
Vietnam War that ruined everything. The old man lived with his wife and his oldest 

son. He had another son and a couple of daughters who went to work in downtown 

Hanoi. In this time of age, rice farming is not exactly too enticing for young 
generations. They want to bask in the glittering lights of big cities, drowned in posh 

sophisticated metropolis life, which I laid down quite some time ago. Well there’s 

nothing wrong to be a dreamer. Dream after dream. Dream within dream. Just don’t 
forget to wake up.

After lunch he took me to the hut in the middle of his rice field. Quite a sight from 

here. The green-yellowish rice plants stretched out to the horizon. Then he picked up 

a bundle of rice plants with his old yet strong hand and said, “Everything in the nature 
is humble. Look at these rice plants. The more they’re filled with rice seeds, the more 

they bow down. In universe, those who do service for others most are the most 

humble. The rain doesn’t brag just because it brings water for us all to live, the moon 
doesn’t brag because it gives us beautiful light at nights. Whatever good deeds you’ve 

done for others, you’ve done it for yourself too. No need to boast about it.” he 

chuckled. I took note on that one.

Heck, even my regular tuk-tuk driver in downtown Bangkok had his own version of 

wisdom. Phong, a funny 32 years old who has been driving tuk-tuk since his teen 
days. Has a wife and two little kids. He’s used to foreigners and tourists and even 

learned the basics of several common western languages like English, German, 
Dutch, and France. He knows Bangkok like the back of his own hand, even the rat


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