Reunion in Paris
For 8 months I have undertaken non-stop adventures. Firstly, my Erasmus or “Travel semester” in France. This, followed by my exciting Odyssey in Tunisia, where I coincidentally ended up preparing a little mission for a pharmaceutical Tunisian Company.
After all this, I was happy to take a little break and to meet my family in Paris. A special guest longingly waited for me: MY GRANDMOTHER from Vietnam!!
You should know that I’ve never had much contact with my relatives in Asia because I grew up in Germany. Personally, I find this A GREAT PITY! But that is maybe life – you can’t have everything, I learned in France: C’EST LA VIE!
It has been 4 years since I have seen my grandmother. When I met her with my family to pick them up from the airport, she had tears in her eyes – I was quite touched. She is so tiny, as you can see on the picture, but she has such charisma that you just have to love her. For me – she is the sweetest person on earth! And so, I was happy to spend some time with my family.
For my grandmother it was her first travel to France. Hence, I was excited to organise an unforgettable Family trip! Of course a must see was Paris, the city of LOVE. 🙂
Grandmother on road trip !
As I didn’t only want to show her Paris, I decided to rent a car, to do a road trip along the coast of Brittany. While I enjoyed driving by car on French highways, I forgot the speed limit that is at 130 km/h in France – I was used to driving on the German Autobahn. And so I got caught by the speed camera. Nevertheless, we had amazing days in “La Merveilleuse Bretagne” and visited the amazing places such as: Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Cancale, St. Malo and Dinard.
My brother and I loved caring for her as much as possible. So cute, how that lady ate her first Crêpes de la Bretagne in her life and you see – she LOVES IT! And you know, although our grandmother was more than 70 years old, she remained so young in her heart – all the time she had a smile on her face.
Back home in Meissen
After our travel in France I decided to fly back to Germany with my family to see a doctor, and cancelled my voluntary work in Montpelier. I had some back problems, and didn’t want to risk any long-term damages.
Back in my home city Meissen, I had decided to be socially isolated for a while. Thus, I stayed at home with my grandmother, until she left us 2 weeks ago. Guys, it was such a great feeling to be disconnected from my mobile phone for 2 months! You simply feel so free and have time for other important things, such as spending more time with your family. 😛
After our family trip in France, my parents got caught in the daily routine again. They went back to work, but were supported by their 2 guests. My grandmother gave my mother a hand in her flower shop. And I assisted my father in his little Asian food store at lunchtime.
To help the family is a substantial part of our Asian culture that aims at a harmonious community. When I had lived at my parent’s home, I remember how often I had to support them, at home or in their shops – just anything that could be done! Back then, I had never understood why I had to help more at home than my German classmates. You should know that Vietnamese people in Germany, the generation of my parents, mostly are self-employed. Hence, they work overtime and very hard, either to invest the money in the education of their kids or to send it to their family back in Vietnam.
While spending time with my grandmother, I adored listening to my grandmother’s stories about my mum, my recently deceased grandfather and, in general, about my family in Vietnam and the lovely country itself. It was – so inspiring! It was cute, when she started telling the same stories again and again, but I didn’t care. Unfortunately, it would cost me some thousand of pages to write down all the amazing stories of my grandmother.
Definitely, she inspired me a lot to spend a year in Vietnam after finishing my bachelor degree. Can’t wait to fly off again!
Grandmother and the wheelchair
On her last day, before her departure back to Vietnam, we watched together our family slide show that I just had finished – she was really touched! She can’t wait to show that amazing video to her friends and the family in Vietnam.
At the airport, something really funny happened: My mother had booked flight tickets with a wheelchair service for elderly people, although my grandmother could walk. Thus, I asked for this service at the Check In. They called a fireman who took her on her wheelchair. And yeah… she pretended not being able to walk.
On the flight from Hanoi to Dresden, she almost got lost when she walked alone in the transit-airport in Frankfurt: she speaks no English, she has a bad sense of orientation and simply doesn’t know anything about the Check In. Luckily, my uncle in Vietnam had written some English sentences for her in case of emergencies. On her first flight, she almost locked herself in the toilet on the plane! Fortunately, she didn’t accidentally pull the emergency button as another Vietnamese friend of hers had done! Haha, imagine this! 😀 I forgot to mention that my grandmother actually is a real estate agent and business women who still sells GREEN TEA from Thai Nguyen in large quantities! Crazy isn’t it? But all this, simply makes her so likable!
When the fireman took her to the boarding area, we had mixed feelings. On the one hand it was kind of funny to see her in the wheelchair, on the other hand, we felt sorry for her as she appeared very fragile and had tears in her eyes. Our goodbye was short, but very emotional. We stood quite long behind a glass wall seeing her in the boarding area, so disoriented in this little chair. She often looked to us. Then, the fireman took her to the last security control – and she disappeared.
I can’t believe it – she just flew away :/
When she left Germany and our family, we were really sad, especially my mum who felt alone. Therefore, I stayed another week at home with my mummy. Imagine – for 3 months her mother brought her lunch each day, helped her in her flower shop, and talked with her – and now, suddenly, she was gone.
I miss those walks with that cute old woman while listening to her exciting stories. Or to have an ice cream with her! Oh… old people are just so cute! Above all, you can learn so much from them. All the time she had a smile on her face, she was simply happy and stayed relaxed, chilled and really, really cool! What a woman, what a beautiful person!
Grandmother, I wish you all the best and see you next year in Vietnam