Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Culture Moment #3: Crossing the Street in Vietnam

Vietnam must be the motorbike capital of the world. The streets are clogged with them, and people will use them to transport anything (Family of four? No problem. Kumquat tree? Just tie it on back.)

Traffic jam in Hanoi

Getting ready for the road in Saigon

Sidewalks aren't for walking; they're for parking your motorbike.

Here's a mix of bikes, motorized and not. Flowers were a common sight with the new year around the corner.

You get the picture. One of the first things you must learn in Vietnam is how to cross a busy street, because stoplights and crosswalks are few. Our friend Caroline gave us this advice:

1) Stand in a horizontal line. Link arms if desired.
2) Step out into traffic.
3) Slowly advance. Traffic will not stop, but it will part around you. Keep going.
4) Annndddd.... you made it! Congrats.

I think anyone who ever enjoyed the game Frogger would like crossing the street in Vietnam.

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