P8. Begging to Go Home

I saw this old man begging on the street for several days. As the sun traveled, he also traveled from one side of the building to the other in search of shade. I had to ask him why he was here. He was a poor farmer from Thanh hoa and was told that he could get a construction job in Hanoi. He came but no one hired him because of his age. He was begging until he had enough money to return to his village. But even if he went home, he and his old wife had no rice to eat until the next crop. (Hanoi, Feb. 2004)


P7. A Happy Couple

This Swiss guy fell desperately in love with this Vietnamese girl. The girl was a school dropout and sold coconuts in Saigon, but what did it matter to him? She suddenly became rich and happy, envied by all her vendor friends. He returned to Vietnam to get necessary papers so they could marry in Switzerland. I heard some news about this couple later, but I won't tell you. (HCMC, Feb. 2003)


P6. Dusk at Ho Guom

Summer is over, but autumn is slow to come. It is still quite hot and perspiring during the day, but it becomes more or less manageable in the evening. I think Hoan Kiem Lake in the dusk is more romantic than Saigon River or Ho Tay Lovers' Lane. Partly because motorbikes are prohibited here and couples are sufficiently spaced apart (Hanoi, Oct. 2004)


P5. Endangered Species

It was one sunny afternoon with less traffic than usual on Hang Gai, in front of Little Hanoi Restaurant. At the red light, all motorbikes stopped (these days they often do!) but this bicycle lady went on, slowly and carefully, across the intersection. I hope bicycles will survive in Hanoi streets and this lady will also survive oncoming traffic. (Hanoi, Oct. 2004)


P4. One Heart

I have been to many developing countries where young women are rarely seen on the street, let alone being together with a boyfriend in the open. Here in Vietnam, there is no such restriction and I am very grateful.  While excessive PDA is unwelcome, I love to see young couples displaying moderate affection. It is very natural. (My other question: why are so many couples unhappy after marriage?) (Hanoi, Oct. 2004)


P3. Lunch Break

During a weekend lunch time I strolled from my house down Hang Bun and saw this lady in a relaxed mode. The way she braced herself in the door frame was so picturesque, I could not resist using the telescopic lens to immortalize this happy composition. (Hanoi, Oct. 2004)


P2. New Generation Boy

I thought this was a girl. But on close examination it was not. This guy is waiting for a high-priced "Taiwanese" tea he has ordered from a new tea stand on Hoan Kiem Lake. Yellow is the new color on the motorbike and long hair dyed in proper color is needed to be in fashion. But the right colors constantly change so you must keep up with them. After tasting the new-generation tea in a plastic cup, he looked confused and drove away. (Hanoi, Oct. 2004)


P1. Kiu-chan

I was targeted by Kiu-chan, a Black Hmong girl, at Sapa's weekend market. As with many other fellow sellers, she spoke English and a little bit of Japanese. She pushed her merchandise, a simple musical instrument worth 15,000 dong, rather hard. It didn't take much time before my resistance crumbled. Being a cute girl is certainly a big advantage. I just hope she goes to school on weekdays. (Sapa, Sep. 2004)