My Mom and Dad have a clear way of dividing roles among them.
At home, Dad is in charge of wines and Mom does the cooking.
On holidays, Mom drives the car, while Dad navigates – always with his aviator sunglasses.
Finally, in supporting their son, tasks are also clearly divided: Dad sends me newspaper clippings of anything related to bikes, while Mom sends photographs – of their walk in the Dutch dunes or a thick patch of December snow covering the garden table as if it was a flying saucer.
Currently, my Mom and Dad are travelling in Vietnam. Last Tuesday, Mom sent me these pictures of cyclists in Hanoi. She describes how Vietnamese stack goods on bicycles until the bike itself can no longer be seen, and all that remains are structures of metal and fruit and brooms and lampions – moving through the city like fruit stands on wheels.
Now that I’ve gotten my Mom’s pictures, I expect I will soon also receive clippings from Vietnamese newspapers. They will be neatly torn out of their original copies, and the margins will contain a handwritten note, in six words, by my Dad: “Interesting article; how is your Vietnamese”.