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Huyền Lê - My Khanh, Vietnam (Global Lives Project, 2013) ~05:30:00 - 05:59:59

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Which boat? After which boat will it be our turn? 47. With number 47 at the end? What number is Nếp's boat? Are you planning to park next to his boat? Later ask him how many more boats before his turn. Still sleeping at this time? Tie it, Nhiễu! How many more boats until it's your turn, Nếp? 6 or 7 more. 6 more. 6 more boats still?! We arrived yesterday and we've been waiting still. We were told to wait for the 7 boats... — And have been waiting, and 6 more still. — We talked to her yesterday. She said 7 more. — She sold to 3 big boats yesterday. — How come she's so bad at scheduling? We came yesterday afternoon - there were 5 boats left. ...or 6 boats One boat finished and left. — Yesterday... — Boat 79's done. — When we came, the big boat from Sóc Trăng Province was getting it. — The big boat from Sóc Trăng, then boat 79. And some smaller wooden boats too. — I called just now and she said 6 boats more. — What is your boat number? No number. No number?! Which one will be first then? His boat or ours? Ours will be first. Mine is before yours. You sleep without a mosquito net? You sleep without a mosquito net? You're brave! Can you go down and undo the rope, Hiếu? Look how silly he is! You don't know how to tie the rope, do you?! Of course I do, you grandma! — Oh yeah, you know! — What? Then show me. You can't tie it like that. Can you reach? I saw the other river islet quite empty for days... What? I'll stop by give it a try when I have time. — You want to try buying from them once? — Yes. The islet down there? Small boats buy from them. Where is it? Tie it correctly, Nhiễu. Let me know after you buy from them. Not sure about the quality of the sand. Uncle 8 was able to get the sand but he complained it was dirty. Not sure what the number of that boat is? That metal boat picking up sand. — Let's just go and wait there. — If we don't go check the boats' number... The boats keep cutting in line and we have to wait til the afternoon, or tomorrow even. We don't see any more boats around right?! Where is that boat from Sóc Trăng Province?! There are only small wooden boats left. We would have been good if we just went ahead. And the wooden boats would have never cut in line. They earn much more with big metal boats. They earn more selling to wooden boats than metal ones. It's done much faster with wooden boats. The boat that just got there - do you know what number it is? That boat... Which boats are back there? You don't know the number? It's very blurred. There was only that boat and ours when we came yesterday. Yes, that boat and ours should go there now. I'll call again. What should we do now? After that boat is done, the wooden boats should go ahead. OK. Yeah. If we waited for her, we might be waiting until tomorrow. If we keep waiting, the other boats may push for their turns. Boat 42 and 49 had to wait for 3.5 days for their turns. [Inaudible - engine sound] If we buy it from other boat - she keeps pushing for the wooden boats. We can go now. If we can get it right away, we'll wait next to wooden boats. Undo the cable, Nhiễu. — Undo? I did it. — Okay. It's Bro Nếp's turn. If you think about it, parking at 628 is less crowded and more comfortable right?! It's true, isn't it? Sand is not as good. Their faces look like gangsters. Sand from Mr. 8, It's better during high-tide. It's dirty when low tide. — I'm tired of hearing that. — It's high tide now. If you went there now, they would curse at you. [Inaudible - background noise] What is it? We can't get the sand. We counted this morning. There are only 2 boats waiting in line now... One old boat waiting out there, ...and another one with a pointy tip in the back. Then we'd have to wait til low tide and there'll be dirty sand left. This lady has good sand, during low tide even. Yeah, her sand is nice during low tide. Why don't we pull the anchor then later ... [Inaudible - background noise] What happens if we don't get it. Then what? — Let's just go there and wait. — Ok. Let's go there talk to them. When we finish parking there, the other boats could push up and skip us. Let's go and pretend it was our turn and take their place. Right?! No one wins. If you keep waiting for our turn in this business, we'll always be waiting. — We'd just wait there even if we could not get the sand. — Oh let's call a boat to get some drinking water for now. — They also sell ice, don't they? — Yes. This guy also seems angry. Last night we asked her how many boats were waiting... [Inaudible - background noise] We can go now. Not yet. You keep saying not yet, not yet. His sand looks too bad. His boat doesn't have a bow even. Hate doing business with her. Next time I won't buy from her. Is the river current stronger here than in Cần Thơ? [Loud ambient noise] It wouldn't piss me off that much if we didn’t pay yet. 
 The other day, we left for home around 11:00-12:00. [Inaudible - engine sound] [Inaudible - engine sound] We lost 5 million for nothing. And you only pumped up to half of the boat, then left? Then you went and got sand from somewhere else? You have to think a bit. It's also luck. But as we speak, there is no place down there that can fill our boat til it's full. [Inaudible - engine sound] Would be better when we are in the middle of the river. We should go now. He might let us dredge. Listen to him, we should go there. That metal boat will be done soon, let's just go there and grab the chance. When we came yesterday, we were supposed to be after that metal boat. That metal boat is one of them, and the other two boats are ... The boat from Sóc Trăng Province arrived after us. Arrived just now. They arrived last night. Mrs. Nam has been more and more unorganized in scheduling our turns. She was doing it so much better before. She even noted it down in a notebook. You should go closer and see how many more and try to get it. Those wooden boats must have been there earlier. I'm not sure if she receives more money from other boats?! Those boats from Sóc Trăng are willing to pay more. They don't play by the rules. They will pay more. I don't think so. I had dinner and drank with him the other day... They sometime gave up their turns. He said he only let those wooden boats skip the line if needed. Yes, since they are small, it's no trouble if they skipped the line. It takes them around 15 / 20 minutes each. If we all leave, there are only those wooden boats left with him. They are his regular customers. Maybe now we should start sleeping without mosquito nets. [Loud engine sound] I was cursing so much last night. The wind kept blowing my net. You were cursing the wind? Understood. When we were in Tân An, I was too lazy to hang up the net. -First I slept on a hammock. Mosquitoes bit my back. I couldn't stand it, so I slept down there. Then it got too warm. When I didn't put on a blanket, I got bitten by mosquitoes. Then I started using the mosquito net and could only fall asleep at 1. Can we go now? Lets go. Before the wooden boats approach. It would be just in time if you go there now. Nhiễu. Let's go, Nhiễu!. Just wait next to it, then take your turn when it's done. Slow down, we can pull in wherever we see an empty space. Uncle, you should wait here by this boat - it might be difficult to park out there. Can we do it tomorrow then? I need to stop by home tomorrow, then we can go. Or if you're in a rush, then you can go to Cần Thơ yourself, and I'll see you in Cần Thơ. What? Oh, really? Where are you going tomorrow? It's difficult to drive to the pump crane to get sand. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow is both fine. Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow - both are fine. Who's that? Châu. What does he want? He wants me to see a bike with him. What bike? I don't know. He's switching bikes? Maybe buying one more. You go to the front or me, Nhiễu? Here you go, as long as he... Can we turn the water pump on? I did. If you are free, Nhiễu, can you go down there get me the shirt?! — It's a bit difficult to walk with this thing. — Just go. I'm afraid I'm going to drop this thing and damage it. — The one on my back. — There's no way you can drop it. — How not possible, it's hung on ... — Gosh, it's very tight. The monkey's hard! I'm afraid I'm going to drop it and damage it. Don't touch this pole. You might get burnt. It's hot. It's very hot. You'll get burnt if you touch. Vĩnh Long and what number is it? Is it 47? Let me see which number it is. Is it? — Not sure. — Is this the boat 47? 50 something. Should be 53. It looks good. No one came for the sand yet? Maybe they all have given up. Like how we gave up our turn and left the other day. Why don't we see anyone else at this time of the day otherwise?! He just called for the wooden boat. Tie it to his boat. - Tie to his boat, to park next to the wooden boat? - Tie to his boat. - Throw it. What did he say? He said we should be after boat 47. Which one is boat 47? I don't know which one is 47. Okay. Let go of the cable. Make it even or you'll forget. Tie up the rope or we'll forget. Tie up the rope or we'll forget. Let it go slowly. Slowly — Let it out slowly. — Til it's at the end? Slowly. Make it even. It's okay now. You can tie it up.

Video Details

Duration: 30 minutes
Country: Andorra
Language: Vietnamese
Genre: None
Views: 9
Posted by: globallives on Feb 1, 2016

A neighboring barge floats by, and they chat before heading off to wait in line at the sand dredging machine.
Lê Huyền is a young woman who lives and works on her family's sand barge on the Mekong River Delta near Mỹ Khánh village,Vietnam. This film is part of the Global Lives Project, documenting 24-hours in the lives of people around the world.

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