|Phạm Minh Hằng, 29, helps fix a motorbike at night. Photo vtc.vn|
HÀ NỘI — When you live in Hà Nội and drive a motorbike, finding a shop to fix your flat tyre is never a problem.
On just about every street corner someone will be ready and willing to solve any mechanical problems.
Late at night, then it becomes a whole different story.
But help is at hand thanks to 29-year-old Phạm Minh Hằng and her team of rescuers who patrol the streets like knights in shining armour.
Hằng is the only woman in the group which comes as a surprise to many of the people she helps out.
She moved to the capital in 2017, and joined the Hà Nội Rescue Team three years ago. She is one of seven members of the organisation.
Each night they meet at the Khuất Duy Tiến intersection in Cầu Giấy District, and wait for that all-important call telling them someone is in distress.
“Many girls and women want a stable job,” she said. “When I choose to work as a motorbike taxi driver, people thought I was crazy.
“When I decided to join the motorbike rescue team and started working at night, my family and friends did not agree with my decision, but that’s the life I want to live.”
Although not a trained mechanic, Hằng has no problem fixing basic failures. When they receive a call, the member of the group best equipped is assigned to help out.
Many of the group have day jobs, but are willing to help those in need each evening after they finish work.
The cost of the service is extremely small, and often assistance is provided free of charge.
Only this week, Hằng helped a woman who had called around midnight with a flat tyre near Hà Nội University of Transport.
The back tyre of her bike had been punctured by a nail, a very common issue but an easy fix for Hằng who knew she would have the stranded driver back on the road in just 10 minutes.
“The girl offered to pay me VNĐ50,000, but I did not take the money,” Hằng said.
“I told her it was a very simple job and the important thing was just to help her get home because it was late at night. I told her that it was dangerous for women to be on the road at that time and she should be heading home.”
Hằng and her team are usually ready to support drivers from 9pm until 3am the following day.
They usually got VNĐ10,000 to fix a puncture and around VNĐ30,000 to 50,000 to change the tyre, but in many cases they offer their service free of charge.
One grateful customer was Ngô Đức Thọ who Hằng helped out last year.
“My motorbike went wrong as I was driving on Trường Chinh Street at night,” Thọ said.
“The streets were empty and all the doors of the homes nearby were closed. I began to get very worried.
“Hằng was so helpful and when I offered her money she refused to take it.”
Hằng says her family worry about the fact she is on the road so late each night, and her mother has even asked her to return home, and look for work there.
But despite her pleas, Hằng is more than happy doing what she loves. And she knows that her work is worthwhile, as she helps so many people in distress.
Although it may not pay a lot of money, the gratitude she receives after each job is completed is priceless. VNS