Women at the roadside spread out their goods in the early morning sun Other pages have shown sales from motorbikes, bicycles and panniers, on this page are photos of the simplest sales pitch of all: the ground. No entanglements with rents or landlords, no costs of fuel or encumbrance of future stock; just take what you have in a basket and go out, sit down with others, (a variety of seating arrangements can be seen: squatting, bits of card, low stools, chairs) and sell to those who pass by. Again these vendors are predominantly women selling surplus from their own land, or buying baskets of fruit and vegetables from wholesalers, and going to a strategic position. If this chosen spot is deemed inappropriate by the street wardens, the women move along to the next spot at seconds notice; an action often required in towns. And first a couple of photos of a common hybrid model; panniers to bring to the chosen pitch Pannier carriers assemble and settle, able to stand up and leave instantly when wardens employed by the community appear. Shops and stall holders have to pay rents and taxes and do not welcome being undercut by these flexible entrepreneurs This line has a bicycle with chestnuts, panniers with vegetables and a motorbike with flowers at the entrance to Hà Nội's biggest covered market. These women are likely... ...to be moved on. Whereas the women above, in Sa Pa, are in a spacious park area away from any rivalry - and in any case are selling hats for tourists The trick is finding an area where one's goods can be spread out without offending anyone, while still being easily seen. This corner between shops offers such a spot - and here a man is acting as reminder that there are few rules about social roles in Vietnam A customer waits while the plastic bag is neatly tied, an experience repeated at every purchase in every market Road junction and bend - perfect 'location' The crash barrier here provides support for tarpaulins, and gives a sense of order Another strategic site just by a bridge with nothing to distract customers Everything is sold in plastic bags - to environmentalists' consternation Customers (here friend Hân) choose their own items of fruit or vegetables Getting money out - a universal fiddle This man has just come up to the road from the river below to sell these fish he has caught - he is in fact putting his trousers back on To the right a woman is selling hot snacks from a portable charcoal burner This roadside market, on the border of Sơn La - Điện Biên provinces, in north-western Vietnam, is home to some very colourful ethnic groups, although not always easy to identify as with this pair who seem to have gathered ideas from Dao, H'Mong and Viet cultures A polystyrene box - insulating what? Two women seeming slightly alarming - by what? Lunch time for this group, and a head massage for the woman on the left This rather jumbled picture of vendors, customers and goods by a country roadside far from the towns... ... contrasts with a neater arrangement of
...but even better this woman has a safe large patch in central Hà Nội where she can do full justice to her produce; produce which includes banana flowers - the purple cones
The next page
takes you to one of Hà Nội's many specialist villages - Bát Tràng is entirely devoted to ceramics
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Poet-Painter'.
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of the Mosaic Section.