Herbs

Updated: Oct 17


While driving down a small street to the ferry, it caught my eyes, a two hundred square meter yard full of dried leaves and barks rustling under the streaming sunlight. I stood there looking for someone who probably would let me in although the gate wasn’t locked. Couldn’t fight the balmy smell of something so dear and familiar I entered and picked up a handful; the herbal fragrance infused my mind with calming memories.

A yard full of dried leaves and barks rustling @ Thốt Nốt

“We wouldn’t be able to do this to help the neighbors around here if it weren’t for my wife’s food stall.”

I turned around and saw two men, who must’ve had been there before I realized, waiting, smiling over my taking picture of the yard. I apologized for my intrusion. Moments later we were talking about the yard. Having known each other for a long time and until this day, the two friends have wandered places to find medicinal herbs and brought back to this yard they rent. Here on this red-bricked backyard, everyday - sunny or pouring, they bare their lives on the dried herbs, which later would be given out for free to those who are in need but unable to afford medical help. “After helping my wife with her vegetarian food stall in the morning, I meet up with him and we would go collect the herbs”, said one of the amiable guys, “we wouldn’t be able to do this to help the neighbors around here if it weren’t for my wife’s food stall.” They kindly asked if I lived around and would like to join them some time.


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