Hue, Vietnam, I had to stay in Vietnam, in the middle of Vietnam, with about 10 days ahead before my flight back to China. I took a train to Hue, visited the city and next day I was done with cities, so I skipped the top 1 attraction, the citadele and I got a bicycle and went for a country side ride, not the main road, but the little roads along the rice fields, it was raining almost all the time, but I had my rain cover, about 2 hours later I noticed a family in a motorcycle slowing down, Father, mother and a kids couple there under the rain in the motorcycle.

The man said something in Vietnamese, after some repetitions I understood He was inviting me home for lunch, I just said ok, 5 minutes later we were entering his house, in front of the vast rice fields, it was a 1 room house, kids and parents slept in a tatame mattress in the floor, kitchen in the corner, TV and a old plastic low dinner table, We brought my bike inside and I started feeling scared.

It was very dirty, and the woman started a swapping the floor, as dirty as the street, (She used the little girl’s jacket to cleab her shoues!!!) just after she finished, the kids were already littering snacks packages to the floor. The kid was about 6 yeards old, he took the chickens out the house in a dificult task, the woman started cooking in the floor, salad in a basket, the man asked for money to buy beers (he in vietnamese, me speaking chinese, since seemed to be better understood than english), I gave him 50.000 dong (about 2 dollars), and he left.

An old woman came, looked surprised with me in the house, the man arrived later, he brought 6 beers and started cooking something that looked very bad, I though I will soon get stomach ache, we had a kind of meat, I think it was cow stomach which we ate with the sause he made, not so good and it was spicy.

After a while of eating and seeing them getting the place even dirtier, the man dropping food leftovers, beer cans, burbed, the kid was opening juice bags with roosted scissors, the woman cleaning her feet with the daughter’s jacket and a lot of street rubbish just lying in the floor/bed… anyway not so cosy, I said I was going (in chinese), then the confusion started.

Then the drama started…

They pointed to the little girl, about 3 years old, and started saying stuff to me.. like “mushu a”, several times, I though they wanted her to give me a good bye kiss, but it wasn’t that, they passed me the scared girl to my arms, I kept not understanding, but it got pretty obvious to me, they were trying to sell me the girl, or something similar, by the gestures, it couldn’t be anything good, this happened for some 10 minutes, all the family trying to tell me something about the girl. I took the bike and went out, started riding, the man staring outside the door.

I couldnt stop thinking on the little girl, were they selling Her? Not possible, all the family involved, what the hell does “mushu aa” mean? Well, a google search in my phone said “have sex with a girl”… shit, could it be? I kept riding under the rain for about 4 more hours, just a beer but got to my head, and Vietnam looked different, dirty, gray, people looked bad, evil, I couldnt eat, I saw children and I felt sad for them, I was now thinking a way to denounce that evil family, I had proofs, pictures, their exact location, videos, all… but it would be difficult to do it, I am alone in Vietnam….

The funny part of the story is… after some research with the locals, seems like “mushu” means “buy milk”, so there is also a chance that this guy wasn’t selling his daughter but just asking money to buy her milk. I feel so much relieved now, and those dirty dark thoughts are gone and Vietnamese look now just like vietnamese I still was discovering.

I started using the sentence “Mushua” whenever I wanted milk for my coffee.

Written in a street restaurant in son trach town, middle Vietnam.


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