From the window of Amanda’s apartment there is a view to part of the end of the lane.
Every day at around 4:30 in the afternoon the “Veg Woman” arrives and starts laying out her stall just beside the Noodle Cafe. I think she lives in one of the apartments on the opposite side of the lane.
She starts by just bringing down the board on which she will lay out her wares and the box that she uses as a stool.
Then she brings out the veg, sits on her little box, arranges the veg on the board, and sits and waits for customers. On the day I took these pictures of her a customer arrived even before she had fully set up her stall.
Business must be fairly good because when I was here last year she hardly had enough stock each day to cover the board one item high, but now she has reached the point where she could do with more space, a bigger board.
Every time she makes a sale she rearranges the items on the board to make as attractive a display as she can, and if she has gone too long with nobody showing any interest she will rearrange things too to try to drum up some interest.
She sits there, every day, until later in the evening (maybe 10:00) when she packs up and is replaced by a guy who has a barbecue stall on the back of his tricycle. He does good business too, until the early hours of the morning.
I know nothing of this woman. I don’t know her circumstances, her reasons for starting up her little business, what she does with the rest of her time, or anything. A “shoe shine” woman in town who cleaned our shoes for us one day last year told Amanda that she was doing that to raise the money to put her son through college, maybe the Veg Woman has a similar story.
Whatever the reason, each day I am here I look forward to her arrival. It is part of the daily routine of Nanning, a sign that all is well with the world.
Life goes on.