a tiny sign in a crowded place caught our attention as we entered an almost abandoned building and climbed two flights of stairs to see more signs leading to another closed door;
but with instructions to open the door softly.
we obeyed the orders and entered this cozy book store in the middle of ho chi minh city.
we took off our shoes and looked around to find fiction, nonfiction, biographies, fashion, self help and the latest from across the world.
their best selling list included lang leav and “we are liars”.
the place was a book lover’s haven and if you like petting a cat as you read your book, there was one softly treading through piles of books in that room.
i looked around and asked if they had any books on vietnam and the response was a negative.
while i should’ve been disappointed i couldn’t find a book on vietnam in vietnam,
i loved that they didn’t have what i asked for because it shattered my expectations.
often times we are in a certain place or with a certain group of people,
and have certain expectations of them.
because they are from the city, we expect them to behave in an urban way.
or if they are from a certain country, we expect them to speak that language only.
but we forget that today’s world is every place -every person;
anybody could be from anywhere and speak any language they can.
therefore, this place became a good reminder that this bookshop could be anywhere in the world too.
while i didn’t buy any books that day,
i did come out of that place with a new word in my vocabulary.
“p-o-s-s-i-m-p-i-b-l-e: the place where the possible and the impossible meet”
rightly defining boa bookstore in saigon.