In the countryside around Hanoi are several small craft villages that produce things sold in the city – most of the village is involved in some component of the production process, and despite the steady trickle of tourists, charges near-wholesale prices. There’s a village specializing in handmade silk, a village for hand-carved hardwood furniture with inlaid mother-of-pearl (this one used to be the fireworks village, before fireworks were banned) and a ceramics village. It was this last one, Bat Trang, where we spent Saturday afternoon. Andrew hadn’t been out of the city, it was a hazy sunny afternoon, and we both needed some air. The 15 km drive was beautiful, the japanese tourists who happened to be in Bat Trang amusing, and the ceramics eminently photographable. Not part of a large tourist group (the norm, I think, given the distance from the city) one of the shop owners let us wander around the workshop behind the store. About 25 women were working there, moving planks full of drying ceramics around, glazing, painting. It was a beautiful afternoon in a small town.