Most of the shopkeepers and vendors were not yet open. This is a street that is keeps trading hours into the wee hours of the morning, and vendors open late.
She was sitting in front of her wares… I have no idea what they were… alone, near the end of the street. The few shopkeepers around are yelling, cajoling, following the few early shoppers.
She was knitting. Buy something, don’t buy something. She was knitting. I greeted her in the few words of Mandarin I have. She smiled. I motioned to her knitting. I motioned to my camera. Could I photograph her? She waved me away, not harsh, but clear. Ok. I thanked her.
A few minutes later I caught up to the two young Chinese women, recent college grads, who I’m traveling with. I told them about the woman. Would they go talk to her with me?
Tell her I’m a knitter, I said. Tell her I love her face and want to remember it.
They spoke. She demurred. They delivered my message. She, modestly agreed.
I do love her face. I do want to remember it. I will remember it.