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This essay is about my hometown, Hanoi.


learningtowrite 32 / 50  
Jan 30, 2008   #1
It is a very personal point of view, and at times it does sound very very awkward, but I still wish to have some feedback on it:D. And please tell me if this way of writing makes my hometown seem chaotic. Actually it does not:D. Thanks a lot!!!

It is one of those rare days in December that the sun manages to peek out from the thick, ominous clouds that have disappeared for the day, revealing the vivid blue sky; the warmth of the bright sunshine seeping through the car window as I rest my chin against the glass. One year has passed by in the blink of an eye.

My last memory about Hanoi was very tranquil. I had known Hanoi for all my life, yet the glimpse of Hanoi at 6 a.m. on my way to the airport last year was something I could never have imagined. No deafening motorbike horns. No bicycles riding in rows. No trucks rocketing on the road. The lazy sun let the street lights do their job, guiding the simple-hearted farmers to their fields. A few women balancing with the shoulder poles skilfully like the artists working in the circus were hawking newly-baked bread at cock-crow. Hanoi then was just like that, pure and peaceful. I remembered opening the car window, welcoming the cool breeze to play with my hair and tickle my cheeks. The dawn breeze wafted the fragrant of rice paddy mingling with the scent of winter through the open window. That glimpse of Hanoi imprinted on my heart and lingered in my dreams; the dreams of a girl longing to come back.

The dream came true; the girl now is back. Things do not look so much like what it was on that day, from the other lane of the highway. The scenery passes by my window, just like a fast-forward movie of real life in Hanoi. This is the Hanoi I know so well. Truck drivers mumble with anger because of the congestion. Motor-bicyclers rush in the streets from every direction, making me feel like thousands of arrows were aiming at me every time. Everyone has a helmet on, not the big and heavy motorbike helmets but the kind of helmets that professional bicyclers usually wear, making the streets colourful just like the small, round M&Ms that the kids always love. Students in white shirts and blue pants ride bicycles in four or five rows; every attempt they make to chat with each other fails completely as their merry voice fades in the roar of the vehicles in the street. I used to be one of them. I used to stop at the street peddlers and indulge myself with some barbecue after school in such a bitterly cold day. I used to stare at the fire of the cook, observing the smoke fly away and gradually fade. I used to stop my bike on the street, rubbing my hands against each other to drive away the numbness and chill.

The movie goes on and on. Many buildings have been taking place of some old blocks of houses built twenty years ago, yet many features of Hanoi remain true and modest. Nghi-Tam Road, the renowned road of flowers, where I always went with my family during Lunar New Year, is still there. The peddler where I and my friends used to grab our favourite snacks is still there. Giang-Vo Lake, where I sat, hand in hand with my friends after our graduation day and weeping like mad, is still there.

Only people leave.

Tranquil and dynamic, Hanoi is has been there for a thousand years. Even from different perspective, Hanoi has always been true to her heart, always a peaceful harbour, opening her arms to welcome her children from far, far away coming back.

I belong to this place, as much as this place belongs to me.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Jan 31, 2008   #2
Greetings!

What a beautiful essay! You really are very talented at description. :-)) I think the tone of the piece is wonderful. I'll just give you a few editing tips to make the English a little smoother. And no, it does not make Hanoi sound chaotic--a little exotic, perhaps, to a Westerner, but very inviting, as well!

A few women balancing shoulder poles skilfully like the artists working in the circus
Things do not look so much like they did on that day,

Motor-bicyclers rush in the streets from every direction, making me feel like thousands of arrows are aiming at me, flying from their bows [just a suggestion ;-)].

Everyone has a helmet on, not the big, heavy motorbike helmets but the kind that professional bicyclers usually wear, making the streets colourful, as if filled with the small, round M&Ms that the kids always love. Students in white shirts and blue pants ride bicycles in four or five rows; every attempt they make to chat with each other fails completely as their merry voices fade under the roar of the vehicles in the street.

I used to stop at the street peddlers and indulge myself with some barbecue after school on a bitterly cold day. I used to stare at the glowing embers of the fire, observing the smoke fly away and gradually fade to nothingness. [another suggestion ;-)]

Many new buildings have been taking the place of some old blocks of houses built twenty years ago, yet many features of Hanoi remain true and modest.

Very good work!

Thanks!

Sarah, EssayForum.com
OP learningtowrite 32 / 50  
Jan 31, 2008   #3
Thank you a lot for looking through my work. After you edited it, I suddenly find my essay a lot more interesting :D

I am taking my O Levels this October, and I really really want to get A1 for English. My teacher said that if I don't try harder, all I can get is A2 at most. I spent an evening working on this essay, is it a lot of time? I'll try to work harder on my skills...

Thanks again Sarah! (can I call you Sarah? It's hard to address people without calling their names:D, at least, for me.)
EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Feb 1, 2008   #4
You're very welcome! Just keep working at it and you will definitely improve! Practice both reading and writing in English every day. You have a lot of time between now and October, so work hard, but don't worry!

And absolutely, call me Sarah! :-))

Best of luck in your studies!

Sarah


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