Hobbling down the street from the crack of dawn, è€å¦ˆå seems to be everywhere in Yangshuo. But that’s only because she occupies the busiest part of è¥¿è¡—, the foreigner filled street full of coffee shops, inexpensive culinary delights, and shops galore in Yangshuo. As you can see from the picture above, è€å¦ˆå is not the tallest of people.
At about 80 years old, toothless è€å¦ˆå picks up the same basket filled with fruit and trinkets getting ready for her day. Luckily for her, she knows that you are her best target – foreigners are more likely to be attracted to her and treat her kindly.
With a voice like a little girl, she calls to foreigners with calls of “Halo, halo”, always carrying a smile on her face and determination to make a sale. Even though her goods are far from better than other competitors around, many a foreigner is willing to buy from her, thanks to her persistence and charm.
If you turn her down once, she will try again. Twice, and she still won’t give up. Third times a charm, and if è€å¦ˆå can’t sell you by then she will stumble on to her next target.
Not saying Hello
The funny thing is, when she is calling out “Halo” she is not saying “Hello”. Instead, she is saying “foreigner, foreigner”. How do I know? She told me and my girlfriend many times that “That Halo bought this from me for 5x what you are offering” or “You, this Halo, are too cheap.”
I have been to Yangshuo three times thanks to its proximity to Shenzhen, which I lived in for 2 1/2 years until recently. Each time, I saw è€å¦ˆå. Next time you go, can you look to see if she is still there for me? Take a picture and send it my way, so I know that è€å¦ˆå is still out there making the rounds, and making memories for the hundreds of foreigners who go through Yangshuo each day.