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I never really knew what to say to my mum in the emails I sent her, largely because our relationship back home consists of her talking and me grunting (this is a relationship that has not changed much since my return). So when my friend Morgan turned 21, I decided to send her some photos of the cupcakes I made for him, along with photos of my apartment, my desk, etc. Her reply is probably one of the best emails I have ever received in my life.


say happy brithday to your friend the cake, look nice ,why the frist picture can not make big ,the desk quite big , is  a light big enogh it look bit dark   ,what are you doing in w eaken,  ,do the cleaning ,the weather any warmer ;
mun tell you to make fish sauce ,i just see on cooking dvd .already try it tast nice .3 table spoon of fish sauce ,3 table spoon of vinerger 2 and half spoon of water ( cool of boiling water) ,2table spoon of sugar mix well then squize   half lime or lemon   in ,small uncle second son will get marry on 2/5/2010 9the one live with grad grandmother in  cabramatta ,sid just come back from melbourne today ,isabella  follow sid for hold day,

every thing fine ,in here the weather ch anging cool about 22 degree
love mun at sunday 14/3/2010 at  900 pm.

Back in February 2010 I had planned on taking a train up to La Roche Sur Yon where my uncle lives. I had never met him in person before! This was pretty exciting. Unfortunately, there were some storms and the SNCF rail lines were out of service for a while, so I had to email my parents to let them know I had to cancel my trip. This was my mum’s response:

i think you went to uncle house so did not contact you ,to day you bach to school as normal ,your term deposite inanz due at 17,03 you want i reinvest for you ,your brother want to france on some time july ,i ask him to join with you ,not sue yet ,your friend also bach to school ,on 8,3,2010 at 7..30 pm
love mun

I dunno, mum. HAS MY FRANCE IMPROVED A LOT? At the time, probably not.


today we saw news on tv that france have storm ,is far away from bordeaux ,your dad was worry  ,when is your summer holiday ,the day start how long ,your dad decide to france see you and go to europe .how is your france improve a lot ,do your still take fab .
love mun on 1,mar,2010 9.00 pm.

I have to say that this email confused me a lot when I first read it. The idea of my dad working hard on a treadmill was kind of funny, and I had no idea what she meant by “horbie”. I thought she meant “horrible”, but I didn’t understand how my brother could change horrible again, given that he’s never been particularly horrible. She meant hobby.


the photo look very nice ,they took from your small cambera ?how is your trip in germany , you buy any thing in there is paris beauty ,anna remener you ,what you talk to anna and elois in france ,is eloise on school holiday .you go to uncle huy house agin next friday ,do you receipt the nitendo and three game yet ,how many day you stay in anna house ,what you make look like pie,in here wheather change cool ,isabella alway want we hud her ,your dad the same go to  sleep very early at nightbut he work hard on tread mill ,he do not dye hair any more ,the hair turn white 90% your brother change horbie  again, love play gof and ride bicycle,very thing fine you put some time on stardy ,take care .
mun on mon, mar 1,2010 at 11.30 pm .

…because I didn’t email mun in many day.

haven hear from you many day ,you bring lap top with you ,how cold in germany ,is the trip good ,very thing ok
you send some photo then we can have look,we are all  as usual ,it was too hot last two day ,today litltle bit better ,daddy put $130 ( new year money into your accout),mania send you anew movie and magazine ,tomorrow i have to go to pick up another parcel in post .how long your  school holiday.
love mun .on feb 23,2010 at 8.30 pm.

I told my mum I was going to Germany to visit my friend. Here was her response:

today uts send you a invoice aboutstudy france is $ 2,124.00 you want we pay or not ,and nib have to register again have to fill in school name and student number (i already got it in your uts ivoice )
commencing from when to when , write it down then i can fill in a from ,i thinh germany it colder than france ,bring more wram coat take care every thing .you cook the egg noodle (the yellow one ) yet you send me the picture is white noodle you can do the sam way .
mun on 17/2/2010 at 8.50 pm.

I asked my mum for the recipe for char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles). Here’s mun’s recipe. (Ps. It’s delicious!)

you use a ketle cook boiling water then pour into a sauce pan ( it save time )when water boil put noodle in
stir even not too long (noodle too long in water willmake soft ),then drain out leave on one side .pour litlle oil in and litlle oyster sauce strir event to make it not stich together,tast just ok donot need put fish sauce ( nouc man ).

then you pre pare few piece of garlic .chicken ,beef or pork, you can use any vegetable .
use pan let it hot ,put atable spoon oil in. turn oven into low
put garlic in when garlic turn to yellow .
turn oven back to high put meat in cook until tender.
then put veget in then put half tea spoon of salt and 1/4 of sugar in .
at last put meat into noodle mix altogether stir evenly .if you want it hot ,put in microwake warm up ,if nt understand what i write turn on camera i show