Sa — Flood in Hoi An

Sa during the flood in Hoi An, Vietnam
Sa — Hoi An Flood 

Sa stands at the emer­gency flood exit-door built into the attic of her house in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Usu­al­ly, there are floods at this time of the year. The high­est water lev­el in my house was 2.2 meters (7.2 feet).”

If the water flow is too strong and ris­es fast, we have to escape through this door”, she explains, point­ing to the door where she was stand­ing in the photo.

Trinh: Are you afraid of floods?

Sa: Yes. I am afraid of them, but I have been liv­ing here for a long time, so I’m used to it. We live in the attic. For my whole life, when­ev­er we see the water ris­ing, we have to fig­ure out our plan. We live with the floods.

Dur­ing this sea­son, we had to store food before­hand. (In the pho­to,) I was stand­ing at the escape door. The cur­rent at this spot (in front of her house) is usu­al­ly strong”.

Trinh: What was on your mind when you saw Alden wad­ing in the water to take pictures?

Sa: I was think­ing that he was pret­ty brave and capa­ble. Because the locals are used to the strong flow, we can deal with it. How­ev­er, he’s not from here, it’s not that easy to wade in the strong water flow. On that day, the water was this high (point­ing at Alden’s shoul­ders). After that, I told my broth­er about him, and we agreed that he must love art a lot. No kidding!”.

Sa With Photo Hoi An
Sa next to her house after the flood in Hoi An
The Old White Wall that is now Yellow

Did you know that Hoi An was­n’t always paint­ed yel­low? Most of the build­ings were once white like this wall was until about 2 months ago. It was one of the remain­ing white walls in Hoi An, beau­ti­ful in its mot­tled antiquity.

We asked Ms. Sa about why the wall was refur­bished and paint­ed yellow.

The old wall was wear­ing down, so we had to make a new one. Oth­er­wise, my house would have col­lapsed dur­ing this flood. As time goes by, it will be old and beau­ti­ful again. It used to be white.”

I love the fact that she said it was old and beau­ti­ful. That’s how I think of Hoi An, old and beautiful.

Discover more stories from ‘Hoi An, The People’