Uncle Nam – wants me
Closer to him than the Aunts –
For his greedy needs
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
The name Nam mentioned is read num. Uncle Nam is the youngest of my Paternal uncles, and the youngest of the full blood Paternal relatives since the Aunts are half-Aunts, sharing a common Paternal Grandfather for lineage.
Uncle Nam gets the award for getting my blood boiling the most, and most often, among the Paternal relatives. He is the richest, even in Viet Nam compared to us all in America, having founded a successful business on mopèd batteries in a city with millions of mopèds, literally. How that success was attained, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t bet I’d have a lot of respect for it from everything else I’ve seen of him.
Uncle Nam is basically of the mindset he can get anything he wants cause he has money. He’s tried bribing people in America to marry his daughter, and was caught for it so nothing is being divulged here that could have consequences. All that did was made sure he tried again through a more “proper” arranged marriage, so he could have a foothold in America to be able to go there and brag about it. He sacrificed the life of a daughter for that, and she didn’t exactly seem too pleased when I met her and asked her how she enjoyed life in America, being one of the few people in the clan who knows about life in the Western World.
Uncle Nam was also not happy about how I stayed with the half-Aunts who had less than him when I came to Viet Nam, rather than with him. However, he didn’t even so much as try to communicate with me before I came whereas the half Aunts planned with and for me. What was he expecting?
Well, that didn’t stop him from trying to set me up with a really nice girl at the wedding of one of my cousins, a son of half Aunt Thuy. Uncle Nam and his son, plausibly named after me as he has the same middle name as my first, really pushed the issue to the point I had to outright tell them I had a girlfriend back in Canada that I loved very much and won’t be considering others, so the girl would know the situation she was being put in. I was lying but they didn’t have to know that cause I was doing it to get out of the situation in as definitive a way as I could, or in the only way I could cause they weren’t stopping to push this girl on me otherwise. Aunt Phi later told me that girl was my groom cousin’s ex-girlfriend of many years, who had turned his marriage proposal down twice, probably because she was leading a double life as a call girl, getting all these presents and money from potential suitors she supposedly turned down, living far beyond her means of income earned!
Can you imagine the shit that would have gone down had I went for this girl? I was there on my third day of knowing these people and Mr Canada with his passport and life in the western world was going to scoop the cousin’s ex who had turned him down to the point he walked away and married someone else? I would have been so ashamed and felt so awkward to leave and stay with my Maternal Aunt traveling with me, in the much less nice former home of my family, with Uncle Nam opening his arms to welcome me to one of the four big houses he had for himself and his children still in Viet Nam. They were like 2000 square feet per floor, by five floors, apiece, amidst poverty ridden areas that must have been cheap for land. No conscience whatsoever to live like that despite everything else immediately all around you. I was more than furious over this set up incident! It said everything I needed to know about Uncle Nam, and his son who was involved as a smooth talking set up man. My reaction to the situation also was a trip defining moment that spoke volumes about me.
Other things he did, like showing me the houses more than telling me about his kids and grandchildren, just did not impress! Between him and half Aunt Nguyen, they pretty much split everything bad on the Paternal side of the family. It’s not that I expected these people to be perfect, but the intent and ability to know better, they failed at, and that’s why it’s forever going to separate us unless they change. I minimize my contact with those people, sometimes rather visibly like extent of social media interactions they can see I have with the half Aunts and their family members. They don’t care, so why should I. They’ll only call on me for their needs whenever it arises, and I’ll just respond accordingly.