It is still dark at 5am this morning and the alarm was not set to wake us until 6.15. However, without any warning, our sound sleep is interrupted by the raucous tones of a full brass band with drums that sounded as if it were playing at the foot of the bed. Actually it was playing in the alley below our bedroom window. Visions of that wonderful scene from the movie “10” where Dudley Moore is awakened by the Mexican band quickly come to mind, but there is no need for a look of abject horror, it is just some person’s mortal remains about to leave our alleyway.
With much bugling and constant clashing of symbols and bashing of drums, the coffin is carried out toward Nguyen Dinh Chieu St accompanied by neighbours, relatives and professional mourners. Gradually the din lessens, we close the curtains, full back into bed and contemplate which of our neighbors it had been. Fitfully we drift back to sleep and await the alarm.