human trafficking

I watched this old woman in front of me swaying to the left as she tried to balance herself and I could see foot binding around her feet.  I touched her shoulder and asked, “Let me help you. Can I get you a slipper.  Does your feet hurt?” She smiled at me. leaned on the counter and said, “You’re a good girl. I could use a slipper.”  I ran to the front closet, found a pair and took it to her.  She gently pushed her soiled bandaged feet into the smooth. silk Chinese slipper.  “Ai Ya, this is much better. Dow ja, dow ja.” She touched my face and said, “When I was a little girl it hurt really bad and I would cry for days but I had to do this so that my parents could get a better price for me.  In those days, little feet were considered beautiful.”  Startled, I asked, “You were sold?”  She sat down at the kitchen table and said, “Yes, but my parents picked a wonderful family for me to be part of, so it wasn’t bad.”   I looked at her and said, “I would never let them do that to me.” She took my hands in hers and said, “Sometimes we are in no position to object.”


About valerieleeworks

Author of The Jade Rubies and A Long Way to Death Row, from many years of candid interviews with Charles Chi-tat Ng
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