The fresh water shoulderers of Hoi An ancient town


(QNO) - Many poets and journalists have thought and written about “The soul of the streets” in their works. In Hoi An ancient town, the soul are showed in the temples, pagodas, deep alleys, in the heart of the many people who are making the ancient streets more beautiful through their simple jobs. One of them  is Mr Nguyen Duong- the fresh water shoulderer in Ba Le well.

Mr Nguyen Duong, one of those who are keeping the soul of  Hoi An ancient town
Mr Nguyen Duong, one of those who are keeping the soul of Hoi An ancient town

Ba Le old well located deeply in a alley of Hoi An city (linking two streets: Phan Chau Trinh and  Tran Hung Dao). It is named after Mr Ba Le, who lived near this well and gave 100 Indochina piastres to repaire it in the early 20th century.

Ba Le fresh water well is a familier name with the Hoianian. This well was build follow Cham style. Its water is very clear, sweet and is used for making Cao lau noodle (a specialty of Hoi An city) and cooking meals for many people who live near the ancient quarter.

There is one couple who their life has linked closely to Hoi An city as a water shoulderers for over 40 years. They are Mr and Mrs Nguyen Duong, both are 78 years old. At 5 a.m everyday, they  walk around the ancient roads with two bucket on their shoulders and  bring fresh and water from Ba Le well to local residents and restaurants, help them to make the different taste of Hoi An dishes such as Cao lau, My Quang, Xi ma… and daily family meal.

Mr and Mrs Duong are living in the Ba Le well alley and earn 50,000 VND per day from carrying water. In a 60m2 house, Mr Duong showed me his pictures and video clips taken by journalists or tourists. He and his wife are very proud of their simple daily work.

Mr and Mrs Duong are older and older, weaker and weaker now. To meet the Hoi An residents’ demand, in recent years, some other people have also shouldered Ba Le water to sell at many places in Hoi An ancient town and rural zones. Few times a year, they repaired and cleaned the well together to keep the fresh and sweet water resource of Ba Le well for Hoianians…

The foot steps and bicycle’s rounds of Mr Duong and other water shoulderers have been silent motions of  Hoi An ancient town’s daily life for a long time. The sweet and fresh tastes of Ba Le water have brought nice specialities and meals to many people of Hoi An city and tourists as well…They are keeping the sould of this ancient town.