Back in 1990 when a 26 year old Bai took over the family-owned business after his elder brother moved to the United States to start another life, his Le Cong Kieu antiques store was showing promise of being very lucrative.
A collector himself, at one stage Bai had collected enough rare old Vietnamese currency in dong and piastres that when counted, he recalls it was valued somewhere between US$15,000-20,000. A lot of money for most young men at any time.
In what is a common story in Vietnam where tradition demands family to be the most important responsibility one will ever have, Bai sold his collection to take care of his family. He points out his daughter who is sitting at the back of the shop and speaks fondly of her and how she helps him out from time-to-time when she’s not at school.
“As well as helping me out…
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