I was born in Paris from French/Vietnamese parents who fled the war in the 70’s, and as a teen, I’ve always thought of Saigon as my “real” hometown (both my parents were born there). Until I went backpacking there for a few weeks as a young woman, and realised that Paris was definitely my one and only hometown. I felt like a stranger in Vietnam, much more so than all the constant racism I grew up with in France could ever make me feel.
Still to this day, I have fantasies of tropical windows, sleepy hot afternoons and colourful details mixing up with my actual teenage years memories and obsessions – a mash-up made of bits and pieces from my real teenage bedroom in Paris and a dreamy Saigon one I’ll never get to see. Now at last, it exists here, and I strangely feel more complete.