The girl who (may not have) played with fire….

Several blogs ago I wrote about a Vietnamese girl whose powers included starting fires spontaneously by her very presence. Her powers took their toll on hotel rooms, neighbor’s houses, and her own family’s kitchen.
Various “experts” convened to examine her and after considerable debate the jury is in; or should I say, the “juries”?

Vietnam is a land that dwells in two realms; the rationale and the spiritual. The communist party and government affirm science, productivity, progress as anchors for the nation. Still, spirituality, in the form of Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, Hindu sanctuaries, corner shrines and fortune tellers shower the landscape. Learned friends with PhD’s consult horoscopes and fortune tellers for advice and birth years (mine is the Dragon) predict success, failure, love and luck for the year. I have been warned about disrupting the spirits and to be prepared for ghost sightings in places like Con Dao.
The scientific community released its findings and proclaimed the girl normal. They advised the family to keep her away from matches and perhaps rewire their house.
Those less scientific inclined view her as “special”; and recommended a regimen of crystals (to wear) and coconut milk (to drink) to reduce her fire starting powers.
The scientific explanation makes sense but the romantic within me (and the person who appreciates a good carney act) roots for the spiritual view and hope that the girl who started fires tempers her talents with crystals and coconut milk. While I cannot comment on the curative powers of crystals I am a big fan of a daily coconut.

Firestarter Poster


About Dr. Roy Nirschel

Thirty years experience as an educator; international traveler, occasional writer, on a personal journey. Author of My Seasons in Saigon (available at Upon the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States I promised to go to Mexico; I did! Carol and I are here now. In the spirit of full disclosure, I promised to go to Mexico if Hillary Clinton was elected president too. The Seasons in Saigon are over; I am uncertain about Vietnam for many reasons despite my love for the country. Now it is Mexico time.

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