While we omitted the ugly photos of development, at the sides here there everywhere, Sapa Vietnam is busy constructing. The older, colonial French buildings remain, many in need of rework but still charming. Alongside are varying degrees of completion, drilling, sandy work boots, wet grooves, then night’s shade draws in and everything becomes mysterious again. We first came to Sapa nine years ago. Much has changed, and yet not enough. There used to be two or three general stores selling a few variety of tidbits but the few tasted so good. We subsisted on chocolate cream roll (the packeted cheap-and-fake-tasting kind) and beer nine years ago and could ask for nothing more. Now there’s classier chocolate and all the chips you eat at home and still no ordinary unsweetened milk.
For days, we watched this boy (look hard) and his pup (absent from photo). As usual, a cat fills in.
The ‘H’mong Bookstore’ has fallen into a state. No real stories to sell-tell but the loneliness of Lonely Planets. I don’t care if they are pirated copies. I wish some other life jumped out.
Five minutes before we gave her quite a fair bit of money. Moments later she waltzed right back, just a girl ’round the block. She smelled of pee, and had a beautiful slight smile.
We giggled our way home.
The H’mong people peddle their ‘wares’ by getting tourists to part with their money. If you buy one item from one of them, the whole group flocks over until you give up. If you say no too many times, sometimes you hear ‘you-shit’. If you say no once firmly, they will say ‘next time yeah’, meaning later after they do a u-turn or the very next day (they remember very well each and every one). But sometimes you cannot rule out dementia.