A common sight in Hà Nội is that of women in their conical hats, with panniers on their shoulders,
joining the throngs of traffic
For some a bicycle, let alone a motor bike, is not an option. For these women, and it is nearly always women, who have the energy and shoulder strength, panniers are an alternative. A bar supports two baskets on cords or wires, these are often seen bearing considerable loads. These loads vary greatly, from fresh fruit and vegetables, through portable cafes, to the collection of scrap and refuse.
On the left, is what seems to be the rare sight of a man in a woman's hat
This woman has a cafe on her shoulders. Carefully protected by the plastic are the main dishes of food, and you can see the bowls neatly stacked around the edge of the tin tray. In the rear pannier are the stools and washing bins she needs. The table (as seen in the photograph of a pop-up cafe) to the right, would be left with some friendly neighbour overnight. Here the customers act as a reminder of how cold Hà Nội can be in the winter; be-hatted and gloved, benefitting from the warm tea being dispensed
A woman gathering scrap paper
These baskets are supported on strings and look likely to be ready to receive refuse...
...similarly with these two women. Here collecting various materials for 'recycling'...
...and here a woman particularly interested in old polythene containers. Pannier baskets vary in construction...
...the ones here look suitable for carrying livestock, although here seeming to be used again for plastic refuse
Sometimes loads seem excessive, recalling the
of another page
Paper recycling can create impressive looking loads. However, nothing like as heavy as...
...this woman's fruit...
...here being eased off...
...the ground while clutching her stool
Here wire 'strings' leave the cross-bar conveniently to hand in the air
Cutting up and placing durians in a customer's box.
delicious, but - notice the face of the young woman behind the customer - utterly foul smelling
Two women rest from their rubbish collection. The Vietnamese find the idea of sitting on the ground a little sullying, here a box is helping one woman...
...whereas this woman is using the cross-bar of her pannier to sit on
Women hailing me to buy; they have stopped by the market entrance - the panniers allowing them to get up an go as soon as the wardens appear!
This is not a sight to be seen in Ha Noi. The photograph was taken in Bảo Lạc, in northern Vietnam, where water carrying may be useful
A very Hà Nội photograph: hat, pannier, purple flip-flops, motorcycles and trees
The next page
has photographs of the simplest of all sales sites - the pavement (or lack of it).
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Unitary Selves'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.