I gaze at fishermen and merchants on Hoai river, their diesel engines chugging away, commuting to and from the market. U Cafe Hoi An has a modest dock across the riverside walk, made out of four bamboo poles and a plank of wood, built and used by our duck-farming neighbour. The cafe does not have a boat.

The river also shows a trashy side of lives in Hoi An, carrying various market debris like chunks of pineapple and polystyrene packaging. Among them at the dock this morning was a boat-shaped bamboo basket. Just big enough to carry a child and maybe a dog, the boat-basket arrived with a broken hull, looking weatherworn and slightly lost. Maybe the child grew too old to play with it on the river and the basket was replaced by a fluorescent plastic toy.

Drifting down the Hoai, the bamboo-wreck found its new owner. It carries casually the reuse-recycle ideals and combines with the connections people have with the river. It could become the cafe mascot and create small ripples in cleaning the Hoi An water. It could go a long way.

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