Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Vietnam Run

I have the joy of experiencing something I can only call a live video game every single day I drive to work and back. I call on those of you who remember such games as paperboy and roadrash. If you remember what those games were like, it was a mission to get from point A to point B intact and to avoid all the obsticles that were designed specifically to impede your progress. Welcome to Vietnam.
Each and every day I drive to work I have to weave in and out of the worst drivers on the face of the planet. You must keep in mind that a drivers license is not required to drive a motorcycle in Vietnam, and that children as young as twelve are riding around these streets. I have seen the stupidest manouvres you can imagine unfold directly in front of me. These people have no fear and absolutely no respect for the science of time and space. I have watched as riders on the far right side of the road suddently cut left and make a turn on to a connection street, cutting off five or six people as they do this. I have also seen people slam on thier brakes in the middle of a busy street to throw a cigarette between thier lips and light it, only to tear off again after it is lit. My most favorite thing is the text messagers. These are people doing 30-40k along a busy road with thier cell phone in hand, sending a text message while staring at thier LCD display and driving with one hand.
I have learned to deal with these obstacles and score quite highly in my daily games. I have yet to hit or be hit by anyone, as has Karen. Also, (MOM) We do not drive fast enough to hurt ourselves. We, unlike a lot of the Vietnamese, do not drive at Fatal speeds.
Driving in this environment adds an element of excitement I will miss when I move to a new country where common sense is a widely held attribute. I will miss the madness and mayhem I see on a daily basis. The best way to describe the average Vietamese citizen is to compare them to drunken hillbilly teenagers. They constantly amaze me with the things they attempt to do on the road. I would love to get some video of this natural phenomenon, but it occurs so randomly it will be quite difficult. Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully I will film something spectacularly stupid.
Here's hoping!

As some of you have mentioned, our posts have been becoming less and less frequent. I think we may be slightly bored here in Vietnam, and you know what that means....NEW COUNTRY! We will stick it out here for a while and then see about at the very least moving to Saigon, where we are sure to find excitement and mystery once again. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Halloween, Y'all!

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