The Watermelon Man: Short Stories of East Asia
One warm October day, during a leisurely walk around Yangon (Burma’s largest city formerly known as Rangoon), I spotted a woman selling watermelon. I watched as she walked along a dusty road balancing her watermelon cleverly on a tray on the top of her head. Intrigued, I trailed her path at a respectful distance for approximately five hundred metres. I followed only because I sensed immediately – as I occasionally have during my travels – that this watermelon seller was an ideal short story subject. I observed her just long enough to begin formulating a character in my head before going on my way. She greatly impressed me with her remarkable grace and dignity and how she interacted so freely with the people she met. It is fitting that this woman would not only inspire a tale in itself, but would also provide the title name for this collection of short stories.