we did our first set of interviews on Saturday. Our initial plan was to go to the back alley of Thanh Xuan and interview the nice xe om driver we had for survior hanoi. However he was not there. so we decided to eat lunch and hoped to invite other xe om drivers to eat with us and interview them, but they all wanted to come and said it wasn't right for just one of them to go, but we don't have enough money to pay for all of them so we had to go to pho co for our interviews thinking that the shoe shine boy and xe om will be easier to interview there. We went to pho co and saw a xe om driver there who was pretty friendly and open. He use to be a truck driver but something happened to him that changed his life and his license got tooken away from him for 3 years. After getting his liscense back, he tried to work for the truck driver company again, but it didn't work out so he became a xe om driver. basically, you can be a xe om driver if you wanted as long as you have motorbike. He makes really little to support his family but it's a way to get money. he will probably do the job until he feels like not doing it anymore.
The shoe shine boy was harder to find because they are constantly moving. instead of a shoe shine boy, we interviewed a shoe shine man. it was a pretty sad interview because he was really shy and was so concentrated on the shoes that he didn't want to talk much. he wouldn't even drink the tra da that we bought for him. He basically did the job since he was a small boy and never had any aspirations or future dreams, nor does have any now. It seemed so sad to interview someone like that and felt even more impersonal trying to make someone talk about their job and life like that.