This cramped space on Do Tan Phong Street in Phu Nhuan District, HCMC has been home to Nguyen Van Tam and his wife Pham Thi Ngung for 20 years. This claustrophobic space is situated in a bustling area in an alley by a railway line. The couple’s daily activities are confined to it. “We are used to it, besides we don’t want to bother our children and grandchildren.” “Where is the medicine I gave you yesterday?” Ngung asks her husband Tam while searching in her shirt pockets. “What did you say?” Tam asks, bringing his ears closer to Ngung. It takes a while for him to understand her question. While his wife is practically blind, Tam is hard of hearing. So he tells her what he sees and she recounts what she hears to him as they help each other get through life, day by day. “We used to live here even before 1975. After that, the government took our land to build the railway corridor and gave us some compensation, but the house got smaller. When I got really sick, we had to sell more to pay the hospital fees, so for the last 20 years we’ve lived in… Read full this story
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