Yesterday, it was raining and I was checking my emails. I heard a very deep voice from an old man riding past my door on his bicycle. I finally recognised the call of the handy man who sharpens knives. I've frequently seen him riding by along with lots of other people riding bicycles who shine shoes, collect recyclable waste and even collect kitchen slosh to feed pigs.
I called him back to my door and asked him to sharpen some knives. He was a funny man and he did a great job. But in the end he was a bit cheeky asking for more money even though we made the deal at the beginning. Anyway, I think most people doing these jobs don't earn lots of money and I usually give some extra.
As he sharpened, he told me he's from the countryside just out of Hanoi and he leaves his home early in the morning, rides around west lake looking for customers and finishes the day at about 6pm. His average income for a day is about 70,000Vnd which is not so bad, considering it takes only 5 minutes to finish a knife. I paid 30,000Vnd for 4 knives and it took him less than 15 minutes work. Unfortunately for him, though, most Vietnamese families have their own whetstones to sharpen their own knives.