Friday, 24 October 2008

The H'mongs

Sa Pa's majority tribe is the H'mong (pronounced Mong). Some of them look very smart in their traditional dress, others are a little more pikey. One old lady was asking Scott about his marital status and, him being unmarried, his virility. He was backing away, not due to the personal nature of her questioning...more to do with the breath we estimated could stop a water buffalo dead at 50 yards. maybe she'd been kissing one earlier? A kiss for granny? Deary me...poor kids.

I'd heard of the H'mong in Hanoi. An overzealous bookseller, who'd also pestered me the night before, told me all I needed to know (for my own amusement, naturally).

"Hey, how are you...can I help you please?"
"Ah yes, it's you from last night..."
"Where you from, friend?"
"You obviously don't remember trying to ponce books on me last night, then?"
"Where a you from...Engrand?"
"Yep..." (trying to walk away)
"You stay Hanoi?"
"Yes, but off to Sa Pa tomorrow"
"Ah, me from Sa Pa...I am H'mong" (sounds like "Mong" to my ears)
"I am a H'mong"
"A mong?"
"Yes, a H'mong from Sa Pa...all my family are H'mongs..."
"Yes, well...that would explain a lot. Now I have to go, old chap...goodbye"
"You no wan' book?"
Yyyyyep...gotta go.


Groupie said...

A mate sent me a link to your site. My name is Tony Groom and I see you have read my book, DIVER.
It's nice to know it's that well traveled! Glad you enjoyed it, love the site by the way.

Tony Groom

old8oy said...

Hey Tony. I've only just seen this comment, sorry. Thanks for reading my tales...I loved yours, I was wishing I'd joined the Navy while reading it. I've passed that book on to so many people, and my Dad's reading it at the moment. I'm in Costa Rica at the moment, and reading your comment's made my day.