Camera: Sony DSC T200
Location: Nha Trang, Vietnam
In an impoverish nation where the socioeconomic gap is exponentially growing, I bring to you the lower side of the totem pole.
"Sơn", as displayed on his cart, is symbolic for strength and austerity as it translates to "mountain". I can only presume that he is the breadwinner of his family. Perhaps shoe repairing is the only source of income that supports three generations.
Don't be disenchanted by the looks of his raggedy cart or his unlicensed, unattested claim of "expert shoe repair". Patrons can judge his skills by the unspoken testimonials atop his cart. The shoes, some some glossed, some faded, and some dusty are all great exhibits of the shoe man's work.
Without even a flinch, he carries on as I am standing there capturing the seasoned valleys on his face. He reminds me of my grandfather, father, and my uncles, who have been roasted under the harsh sun to keep us full. He is determined, focused, and undoubtedly meticulous while hastily fixing a woman's pair of heels, only to move along to the next.
Written: March 18, 2011
Republished: July 25, 2015