A nostalgic space
I received a call from a friend over the weekend saying: “I'd like to show you a small corner. Sitting there, it can bring back so many memories of our old time.” After hearing about it, we quickly got together and went in search of this new experience.
About 7 km from the city center, the house named “Nhớ xưa” (Nostalgia) of Mr. Ho Van Duc (99th Alley, Luu Bao Street, Huong Long Ward, Hue City) is full of warmth, intimacy, sincerity, and simplicity of rural people in the ancient village of Luu Bao. The village is famous for making traditional “bánh tráng” (rice paper) and “bánh ướt”, which have been preserved and developed by the villagers for over 300 years.
The house, while not spacious nor grandeur due to its owner financial ability, is filled with the love and enthusiasm of Duc and his wife. It seems that he spent all his days of youth raising the idea of making a small corner, reminiscent of the old days; so, he focused on collecting items of the old days such as: noria for the field, the flour mills, scales, legs of sewing machines, 70's bicycles, and even television sets and cassettes.
Then, when they passed the threshold of their forties, the couple decided to make their own living space reminiscent of the old days.
Yet, it was not the items present in the cozy house, nestled under the green trees that impressed me the most. It was the kind, loving personality and genuine spirit of the owners, the true rural folks. Even though we’d just met, we were already showered with so many gifts he could find around the house. There were no ulterior motives, only sincerity.
Ripe pomelos, bunches of bananas, vegetable buds, flowers and ornamental plants are merrily given by the host as gifts, as long as the guests are pleased. He even gives away the antiques to people who share his passion wholeheartedly. There is no doubt that whoever comes to the house would feel happy as they get a share of love, not because of the gifts, but the kind of true love that transcends wealth and materials.
In particular, you will be treated to the famous “bánh bèo” - fern-shaped cakes dish of Luu Bao village in the true Hue style. The cakes are covered with shredded shrimps prepared and made by the couple on the spot, so the dish is fresh and delicious. Mr. Duc said that making bánh bèo is his contribution to keeping the old craft of the several-hundred-years-old village alive.
Thus, whenever you have the opportunity, visiting this house of nostalgia over the weekend morning will be an option that you should not miss. There, you will re-live your childhood, regain those positive energies for the new working week, and fall in love with life all over again!!
Story and photo: SUONG THU