"If you don't buy something from me, I will die tomorrow," the Hmong woman said with a straight face, "then my husband will marry someone else."
Caught off guard by the drama of this statement, I stared at her with a dumb, shocked expression until, sensing my distress, her face softened and a mischievous twinkle appeared in her eye. She seemed to take pity on me:
"Okay that won't happen," she laughed,"but you will buy from me, okay?"
Later I heard that the Hmong women, who live in Sapa among the foothills of the Himalayas, are known for their persistence and wicked sense of humor. This information came too little too late for me though...I was the proud new owner of several hand made blankets and scarves, stuffed into my tiny backpack.