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Wading the canal to pick wild water spinach for a living in Ho Chi Minh City

Unemployed because of Covid-19, 46-year-old Nguyen Thanh Tuan wades through the canal to pick wild morning glory in Thu Duc City for his sister to sell and earn money for a living.

For nearly a month now, when Ho Chi Minh City eased the distance, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tuan again waded the canal along the Hanoi Highway, near the Saigon Bridge (Thu Duc City) picking wild morning glory to earn a living every day. “In the rainy season, along 3 km of the canal, water spinach grows very well without anyone interrupting,” he said.

From An Giang to Ho Chi Minh City to work as a housemaid for more than 20 years, but Covid-19 made Mr. Tuan unemployed for nearly half a year. “Staying at home for a few months is boring, waiting forever to see the contractor call to work. My sister told me to come here to pick vegetables to earn a couple of dongs, help pay the rent,” he said, holding a bunch of vegetables and picking them in the middle of the stream. black channel, water is up to the belly.

According to Mr. Tuan, wild water spinach is quite popular in the West, is considered a clean vegetable, so many people buy it to eat. This plant only grows in ponds and fields, along canals, and thrives in the rainy season.

Wild water spinach has large leaves, stout stem, which turns red-brown when old.

After nearly 3 hours, Mr. Tuan picked more than 20 kg of vegetables and put them on the shore, and bundled them in sacks.

“The job is very simple, just tired because of the sun and continuous wading for hours. I also only work temporarily, hope to have many projects back to work soon to have a stable job,” he said while taking a break to drink. water.

Mr. Tuan transports vegetables to the inn, which is about 4 km away. In addition to the canal bank next to Hanoi Highway, from time to time he also went to the ponds in Thu Thiem urban area to pick water spinach.

In the yard of the boarding house on Mai Chi Tho Street (Thu Duc City), his father and his biological sister Tuan picked up vegetables and divided them into smaller bunches.

An unmarried 46-year-old man is sharing a boarding house with his sister and brother. His father went to Ho Chi Minh City to visit his son and has been stuck until now because of Covid-19.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy (her sister) dips the bunches of vegetables in water before selling them. For many years now, sometimes she sells vegetables on the sidewalk, sometimes turns to cooking vermicelli and noodles for a living.

Ms. Thuy went everywhere, at the intersections on Mai Chi Tho Street, the people’s market, or down to Tan Tao Industrial Park to sell to workers. Each bundle costs 8,000 VND.

“Only one afternoon, I sold all my vegetables, and also earned 180,000 VND. Every day I go away, the profit is less because of the fuel consumption. How much I earn, I mainly pay for accommodation (one million VND per month during the epidemic season), the rest give some to her brother to spend a few dongs while waiting for work,” she said.

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