Who Knew a pedicure would turn into a divine appointment! Have you ever met someone for the first time and they captured your attention with their smile and demeanor? I went to get a pedicure at Nail World at the Cortez Plaza and this ended up being more like a divine appointment than a nail service. He told me to call him “P”, so we were kind of hanging out and just talking about every day stuff. The Interviewer in me was pestering to ask him questions. Sometimes it feels like my evil twin, and I cannot silence her when she wants out.
P told me he was in Viet Nam until he was 4 years old. He is now 22. I asked him if he could describe what life was like when he was 4 and living there. P explained that the biggest problem for most people 18 years ago in Viet Nam was hunger. Children his age would beg for food in the streets, as would adults. He doesn’t remember being hungry but he does remember children stealing and fighting over a handful of rice. His Dad sold soy milk to put food on the table, but it was very difficult, at best. He has four brothers and one had passed away.
P’s father had fought on the South Viet Nam side, and they were allies of the United States. When the war ended, P’s Dad was supposedly free, but it wasn’t until very soon after the Americans left that he was taken and put in a Prisoner of War camp. For four years P’s Dad was starved, tortured, and neglected. Part of the torture was to put several men in a square block where there was only room to stand and there was one air hole which the men would take turns using. I get sick thinking about it. He was released after 4 years but his soul was broken and his personality changed forever. But he was now free. The U.S.Govt. put a bill into action that was for the relocation of Prisoners of War to the U.S., where they would be given a place to live. After completing mountains of paperwork for each child and adult, P’s mother became pregnant and they had to completely do the whole process again. Missing that chance was devastating, but as time passed they managed to leave Viet Nam for the U.S.
P and his brothers and parents were first situated in Los Angeles. It wasn’t a comfortable transition so they moved on to New Orleans. P explained to me what it’s like coming to a new country, unfamiliar with the language, the money, and having to make yourself be understood. It was hurtful, embarrassing, and sometimes just too much of a challenge. But his family, being dedicated and of strong character, began to catch on to the language and the system in the U.S. P remembers that when he first got to the US, how much bigger everything is here, and how much more room there is to move around.
After two years in New Orleans, the Nguyen family came to Florida. It started to feel more normal in Florida and they settled in St. Petersburg. Kids had their fun laughing at P because he was different, but as he learned more English he became the class clown trying to win friends and make them laugh. His dream was to be an EMT, and P accomplished that and worked for a hospital as a paramedic. Probably the worst case he ever worked was a case where a small child died. He loved that job and was cut out to do it forever, but a serious car accident resulted in major damage to his back. At this point he is recovering slowly, while running his family business, Nail World.
P loves life. His smile is contagious, and he is just one of those “wide open” people with nothing to hide. He doesn’t do drugs, was never in gangs, and loves coming home to his Golden Retriever named Puka. His whole family attends church together, when possible. He has a girlfriend who is very beautiful, and although he has to drive himself and his crew from St. Pete to Bradenton every day, he takes it all in stride. Need an uplifting experience and a mani-pedi at the same time? Try Nail World in the Cortez Plaza. The address is 625 Cortez Rd in Bradenton. They are open Monday – Saturday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Sundays Nail World is open from 11 am – 4 pm. Call for an appointment at: 941-243-3822. Walk-ins are always welcome.
Nail World has the latest in nail products and techniques. What I love about how they work is that they never rush you. Your happiness and your return business means so much to them. Try Nail World today, and tell P that Laurie sent you!