Thursday, October 11, 2012

ho chi minh - a motorcycle city

one of the first things you'll notice while in ho chi minh is the abundance of motorcycles on the road. be it young or old, man or woman, everyone seems to be on their bikes. it is actually quite fascinating looking at women in their business suits and steep high steels, but still rocking on her motorbike. with quite numerous motorcycles on the road, it is truly not surprising to see several shops selling different designs of helmets. unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to take pictures of them. they're so beautiful and unique, that at one time during the trip, i contemplated on buying one as a souvenir. but my sister being the practical one convinced me that i have no use for it since i don't own a motorcycle. well, it's too bad i don't own a high resolution camera, i guess you'll just have to take my word that indeed there are truly SOOOO many motorbikes on the road.
the first day we arrived in vietnam, my initial concern was how to keep safe while crossing the street. it's just unbelievable to have that many bikes on the road at the same time. while there are bigger streets with traffic lights, there are also roads that don't. so it took us a while to cross the street every time we were out. for someone who's been hit by a car before, not figuring in an accident especially in a foreign land is foremost in my mind.
eventually, we learned the trick in properly crossing the street. no. not waiting for the road to clear, because it never will. probably after several hours of waiting, haha. anyway, we spoke of this concern and mentioned our observation to the attendant in our hostel. he advised that the trick to navigating the streets of ho chi minh is just to walk naturally, like you don't have any care in the world. of course, you continue to take precaution by looking to your left and right. but according to him, all motorists yield to a walking pedestrian. they won't necessarily stop, but they will adjust their direction to avoid you. i hope this little trick helps you when you get the chance to visit ho chi minh. it's actually a lovely city, minus store attendants picking up breads without use of tongs, gloves or plastic! yep, just with their bare hands. believe me, it's the norm (except at shops in the mall. i'm talking about bakeries on the road or bread carts like julie's). haha. oh, they do it in siem reap, cambodia, too!
just a little side note, i think two or three years in the future, cebu will become like ho chi minh - a motorcycle city. is it just me, or have you noticed the explosion of motorbikes on our roads these days?

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