Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gooooooood Morning Vietnammmm!!!
















We woke up at 3:30 am this morning to catch an early flight to the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi and all went well as we landed at 8:30 am. Foreign visitors are immediately handed a pamphlet warning of taxi and hotel scams, so finding safe transportation took us over half an hour and was quite intimidating. The ride from the airport to our hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi was 45 minutes long and allowed us to get a true feel for the agrarian Vietnamese country side, as well as the busy streets of the city. By busy, I mean insane.

Mariana and I have taken some crazy cab rides in countries like Costa Rica, Colombia, Cambodia, and Thailand, but Vietnam certainly takes the cake. As we were flying around slower moving motorcycles, moto-scooters, rickshaws, ox-driven carts, cyclists, and unfortunate pedestrians, I could not help but imagine what the driving test (if there is in fact one) would be like here. So, fortunately for you, I am going to allow you exclusive access to the one-act play that unfolded within my mind:

Instructor: "Ok, let's begin. Have you adjusted your rearview mirrors and checked for all of your blind spots?"

Student: "No."

Instructor: "Fantastic, a lot of students get that question wrong...well done. Now make sure you hit the gas pedal as hard as you can and don't worry about merging, because the other vehicles will move out of your way long before they will hit you."

Student: "Ok."

Instructor: "I really liked the way that you just ignored that traffic light back there, you should never let such things as rapidly moving right-of-way traffic deter you from motoring through a busy intersection."

Student: "Thanks."

Instructor: "Now let's practice some parking. Find a spot and pull the car in quickly."

Student: "How's this?"

Instructor: "Perfect, you have parked in the middle of the street at just the right angle to block all thru traffic, and on your first try...incredible."

Student: "Thanks, I practiced some with my dad."

Instructor: "Well although I would have liked you to honk a bit more and perhaps frightened a few more pedestrians on the sidewalk, I don't see any reason not to grant you a license. Just remember to never look in any direction except directly in front of you while driving and you are going to make a fantastic motorist. Well done."

Scene.


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