A young woman stood outside an antique store in Hoi Ann, attracting customers to the fake antiques with her lilting voice and graceful gestures. She was unmarried and applied her meager income to supporting six younger brothers through school. Her father had worked as an administrator for the South Vietnamese Army, been re-educated into feeble-mindedness and now made rice paper for a food stalls in the marketplace. Despite a quick wit and a clear aptitude for languages, she had been denied access to university for her family's sins. She forgave the communists their every trespass but one; in her schoolgirl days they had not allowed her to join a youth group, to earn the cheap plastic medallions given in reward for achievement in sports and communal activities.
She was a prostitute.