Noy just turned 17 this year. She was born in a rural district of Phongsaly. From the time her family fell apart with her parents’ divorce at age three, she was raised by her grandparents. Her mother remarried with a single father of 5 children and her father remarried another woman. When she was 9 years old she was sent to be with her mother under the same roof with her new father. She only stayed there for five months because she could not bear the way her new father treated her. She had to deal with the five step-children as well and when the parents were not home she endured moments that she would rather forget. For lessons at school we have to repeat and memorize many times to remember it but still often we forget it easily which opposed with experiences of one’s life. This is a characteristic of human being’s life. We’re told to remember our lessons in school, but it’s the harsh experiences of real life that stick in our memories.
She moved to LNT when she was 10 years old. There was a girl who was five years older than she was at that time and invited her to go work in LNT with her. She agreed right away. “I didn’t think anything of it,” she said. She went with the girl to LNT. They had jobs in a fish pond owned by Chinese. They had been working there for two years then her friend got married to a labourer at a brick factory. She went to work as a cook for the brick factory workers with her friend. After working there for 5 months, she decided to leave to search for something new in her like. She was 13 then.
Luckily, she got a job in a restaurant in LNT as a cook but to try to live without any support from her family at 13 was beyond the expectations of any girl. After three months, she went back to her married friend at the brick factory. “My friend was like a roof for me. I could go back to her any time rain or shine,” she said. For myself, I could hardly hold back my tears when I heard her voice become dark. Two months later, a woman living near the brick factory approached her and offered her a job in a beer shop. The girl did not know at that time that she would have to sleep with customers. Now, she has been working there for 5 months. Her job is to serve beer to clients and sleep with them on their requests. She can only write her name and has only a basic reading skill. She makes on average of 500 000 kip a week by earning100, 000 kip from sleeping with a client. She told me that she has 2,000,000 kip in her bank account. She has not been to her hometown for nearly 7 years. There’s rumour news that her grandparents have been sick. She is planning to go back to her hometown in March to visit her grandparents. “I don’t miss my hometown, but I miss my grandparents day and night,” she told me with a depressed voice.
By: Bounchanh 2010