Friday, January 31, 2014

The More, the Merrier!

Wow, can the Vietnamese fit any more on a moped! I’ve seen as many as four people on a single scooter! There are ten times more scooters than cars. Only the very wealthy have cars. Instead, parked mopeds line the sidewalks and the streets are filled with their honks. The driving is very chaotic with everyone is going every which way. No one uses turn signals, but EVERYONE uses the warning honk. I believe there are less accidents than you would suspect due to the slow speeds. No one goes faster than 35 mph in the city. Bicycles can easily keep up with traffic. From the airport to our hotel, we never went above 50 mph.

Crossing the street is quite a triumph. It is easiest to cross in a group. The walkers must stay close together and continue across at a constant pace. If you don’t make any sudden moves, the scooters will honk and go around you. Locals make it look easy which is very far from the truth.

The houses are often times very small here with stores in the front and homes in the back. After shops close, the families use the shopping area as a dining room or living room. They tend to keep the store doors open to get fresh air and people watch.

Many street venders have plastic table and chairs on the sidewalk. This child sized furniture means you are squatting to eat your food. This along with the mopeds and potholes make walking on the sidewalk a crazy maze!

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