Friday, September 15, 2006

Newspaper Boy

I have been intrigued by this boy for a few months but this morning was the first time I talked to him. He normally doesn't want to talk to other people about himself or his family. He is a disabled boy who can't walk at all. He sits on a bicycle, using his hands to pedal and control the bike. He started his newspaper business 8 years ago which means when he was 10. He doesn't look like 18 at all, a very baby face with a good smile that makes people think he loves to be alive and happy with what he had and has now.

Cuong- Newspaper seller

He starts his day at 6am and ends up at about 10pm, hopefully with no newspapers left. It's difficult to imagine how hard such a life must be, all day using his small hands to pedal around for thewhole day to earn a small income? Around Hanoi in small lanes and big streets, he cycles to earn about 30,oooVnd a day. A good thing about him is that he tries his best even though he is not in the best physical condition and lots of people try to help him by buying his magazines.

Exhibition picture

I see lots of boys and girls who hang around, doing nothing, putting their hands out to their parents for money. Lots of people don't want to work to earn money, even though they are strong and there are thousands of jobs waiting for them. They are some who prefer to act sick or pretend they have a really urgent family problem to get sympathy and money.

This boy should be an example to them all.

19 comments:

layered said...

Mr. Tu, I really appreciate your doing stories like this one -- they help me to understand the life of people like this that I see everyday around HCMC.
--- Mel

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe this... this boy worked around our hotel and we used to buy off him some of the time...we just thought he was so amazing and dedicated and I had no idea that he was so old. He also seemed to have a respected place in the community and we really loved seeing him around being so productive. Mr TU, 5000000000000000000000 points for the stories of late...amazing!! You are really showing people ALL sides of Vietnam.
Congrats on moving house, thanks for the housewarming party invite...don't think we can get there in time...and congrats to you and your fantastic work. we miss you guys and especially all the characters around Ha Noi.
Big LOve

consise10 said...

Hey Vietnamese God,I hadn't visisted your space for ages until now,and am ambsolutely compelled to look through your entire blog once more.What a warming thing you have done to give us a glimpse of some one who 'survives' in your country.Wonderful picture too.Thankyou VG.

junebee said...

Wow, it's sort of sad that there's no social service agency to help him. Of course in the U.S., there are all sorts of agencies and people still fall through the cracks.

Tim Rice said...

This is truly an amazing story. He sounds like a truly admirable person.

Bear Bear said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
M said...

Quoting you:
"They are some who prefer to act sick or pretend they have a really urgent family problem to get sympathy and money."

I totally agree. I'm from the U.S. and I think my cousin who still lives in Saigon is trying to make us believe that he is BLIND so we can send him and his family money. That's just so sad. My mom still sends him money regardless, just out of kindness; but I'm starting to suspect he's NOT for real.

Thuy said...

Hey M, I have a cousin that lives in Saigon that she, her husband and 3 kids are sponging off her sister over here. They don't work and expects her sister to send them monies every month.

Drug Abuse said...

Very good story Mr. Tu, admirable boy!

miZ said...

Wow, that is a truly amazing life story. Thank you for this glimpse into a life very different than my own - sometimes we all need to feel humbled.

April said...

that is a very inspirational story. it gives me some perpective on life.

Anonymous said...

He is such an extraordinary young man. I’m at awe with just a glimpse of his life..

-nga

black feline said...

he reminds me of a youg boy who polished shoes in HCM many years ago...he became my half brother..his name is tuan viet...wonder how he's doing now? heard he's working in a cafe !

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

It's the same way over here...many young people just don't want to work and the ones that do want to work, want to start at the top instead of working their way to the top. Not all people are that way, just a few like everywhere else.

The handicapped newspaper boy is remarkable. Apparently he has to make a living for himself and works very hard.

Godknows said...

Hi all,
Thanks Mel, Shev and Jo, consise10, junebee, Tim, Thuy, Drug Abuse, MIz, April, black feline anf other anonymous for your comments. I went back and talk to this boy again this morning and of course I bought few newspapers from him and talk about that you guys admired him. He said thanks to everyone for the couragement.

viagra online said...

I have a counsin who live in New York and he sell newspaper every day , but he earns a lot of money as $100 per day and he works 3 hour per day, the job is so good.

Invertir en Oro said...

hat a warming thing you have done to give us a glimpse of some one who 'survives' in your country.Wonderful picture too.Thankyou VG.

viagra said...

yeah a real bravery example in this theme, as you said many other children put their hands over parent's money, but not this boy, beside his problem he take the responsability as a adult do.

June said...

Very effective piece of writing, thanks for your post.