Charlie House, Amsterdam

Email 1

The endless flying frenzy of little insects speed to their deaths into a sea of goo that is the saliva in my mouth. I have arrived at the little town of Lisse within the Netherlands, I might say it is nothing but open land. I shall write as a reminder to you, dear Alexander, of my mother’s cruel death after all these years of battle against cancer. Now, forget I ever spoke of such tender and heart retching topic. I am not exactly sure what I am doing here in this little town but to accompany my father at Charlie House, I suppose, and be away from my life in Washington, DC. I shall put my electronic device to sleep and return another day and write to you again. I must take a long walk across the plains.

Your best buddy,


Email 2

As I recall, Alexander, you are always locked within the vicinity of your room playing video games. I cannot even begin to explain the sights of the Western Netherlands. Of course, you probably will not understand nor appreciate the beauty of nature like I do as I have recently discovered. I will describe in the simplest terms that I can to your level of understanding. The many thing you will find outdoors are green, the color of the little round power button on you console. You can turn your head in every direction to find endless fields of brilliant flowers, not walls. The scent of manure is a breath of fresh air and is everything good compared to the city smog. I met a young lady by the name of Brooke and she was sweet enough to show me around town. I have grown quite fond of her presence.

Your buddy,


Email 3

I met a fellow American today on my way to the horse stables and in this young fellow’s hand was something like a cigarette, except it was not a cigarette. There is a specific type of green (I was later informed the plant was called marijuana) that can be rolled inside a specific type of paper, lit and inhaled to get “high”, as they say to describe the sensational experience. If only you can take this trip with me and feel the relaxation from the fumes of this plant of wonders, but you are busy in your catholic studies and I have the time to spare and money from my allowance to spend. Decent music can make you a decent man. Like Tupac.

I hope the Lord can forgive me, I was a G
And gettin’ high was a way of bein’ free

I cannot tell you how popular I have become among these foreign women. All these women often try to get into my pants, but I refuse to let anyone break me away from my catholic moralities. My love, I will give to the lord and only the lord.



Letter 4

My father has fell under the spell of a lady business partner, which I was strongly against until I found myself giving my love to the young lady, Sam. I am happy, Alexander. We will meet soon.



The Netherlands was somewhat chosen at random. As we see that Sophia was a big fish in a little pond when she arrived in Calcutta, I wanted to imitate that but in a domestic and modern setting. My character Sebastian was modeled after Sophia, hence the similarity in the names, and both are addressing a passive friend who does not respond, making it feel like the readers are intruding the conversation. The name of Charlie House was modeled after Hartly House, and I chose Amsterdam because it is the capital of the Netherlands just as Calcutta is the Capital of India at the time. Phebe Gibbes’s Hartly House, Calcutta was a bit long and made it impossible to capture every aspect within a 500 word piece. I had to focus on key aspects of Sophia as a character and her actions. Sophia is introduced as a spoiled brat and it seems she doesn’t realize it, being she is only 16 years of age. Instead of beginning the first letter with a scene of dead bodies, I began it with dead insects inside the narrator’s mouth. Moving from Washington, DC to the Netherlands is a big change, like from a big city to a small town. I believe Sophia brings up the death of her mother simply looking for sympathy, so I tried that. She doesn’t have a clue what she is doing in India, so I sort of paralleled that. The only thing the readers know is that her father is involved in the trade industry between Europe and India, but she could care less. Sebastian also doesn’t care much about his father’s business and is simply enjoying life as a teenage boy. Sophia sees herself as superior to Arabella and she contradicts her words through her actions quite a lot. She says she will never marry in Indonesia, but ends up doing just that. Sebastian says he will not love anyone else but the lord, but falls for Sam, who he barely knows. Sophia loves to include quotes from various philosophers, poets, etc. and to mimic that for a contemporary audience, I used a few lines from a song by Tupac. Both Sophia and Sebastian are both dandy-like as well, both are very conceited. I also noticed that when Sophia closes her letters, she puts in less effort each time.

-Van Vang

One thought on “Charlie House, Amsterdam

  1. Totally brought this to a major contemporary world! I really like how it helps the reader understand the original piece you parodied. It gives a perspective that makes more sense now. -Maricela Martinez


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