On the Way … to the other side

In the latest Friendly Friday Challenge Amanda issued a call for stories about travels ON THE WAY to or from somewhere.

Amanda tells us about her hair-raising taxi ride to Bangkok airport. I can relate to that. Seems to me that my most hair-raising experiences have been on the way to places in-with-and-around taxis, cars and motorbikes.

Sometimes my trips weren’t even very long. Sometimes, all I wanted was to get other side of the street.

Amanda’s Friendly Friday Challenge for ON THE WAY lasts for the next two weeks. Why don’t you join in the fun? Remember to include a ping-back to Amanda’s original post here and be sure to check out all the other responses too!

** UPDATE ** In case you’re wondering

There’s a secret to crossing the street in Vietnam. I learned it early on and navigated freely during my visit. The key is knowing the social contract between pedestrian and motor vehicles and following some simple rules.

How to cross the street in HCMC

  1. Walk slowly and deliberately into the traffic. The moto’s will see you and they will flow around.
  2. Do not run. No one can predict how fast you can run and they can’t adjust their speed accordingly.
  3. Always go forward. Never go back. The motos expect you to go forward.
  4. ALWAYS LOOK AT ONCOMING TRAFFIC. “I see you” and “You see them” confirms the social contract.
  5. Respect the laws of precedence. Motos give way to pedestrians. Pedestrians give way to cars, buses and trucks. If you can’t safely cross in front of a car, bus or truck – Pause and let them pass – then resume walking forward.
  6. NEVER STOP. Stopping in the middle of the street is worse than never getting on.

Video’s taken in HCMC (Saigon) in 2014 and compiled in Toronto, Canada. 2021

10 Comments

  1. I have never gotten used to the traffic in Asia. Both Hanoi and Saigon were insane, and India was even worse – I had a full-blown panic attack two blocks away from our hotel and refused to cross, planning to stay there all night if Al couldn’t come up with a plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that. I’ve long since learned to not look out the driver side of the vehicle. Easier to just focus on the side window and traffic scenes beside the car rather than in front πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. We managed to negotiate street crossing in Vietnam last year (and in Phnom Penh which is similarly hairy) following that rule of stepping out, walking at a steady pace, and not stopping or retreating. It’s actually quite fun once you start believing you won’t be hit πŸ˜†

    Just one little point, if you don’t mind me making it? HCMC is aka Saigon, not Hanoi which is a very different city! We found HCMC to be even more unnerving as a pedestrian because the motos regularly come up on the pavement to get past traffic blocks, skip red lights etc!!

    Like

    1. You are absolutely right. HCMC is Saigon not Hanoi. My video was taken in HCMC aka Saigon. I don’t know why Hanoi stuck in my brain. I’ll correct. Thanks for catching my mistake Sarah.

      Like

  3. Ah yes, crossing the street a Vietnamese city is nerve-wracking! Your tips are perfect. I remember my first time in the country in Ho Chi Minh city, my friend and I couldn’t believe the traffic and were paralysed on the pavement. We watched how people were just wandering out into the traffic and couldn’t believe it! We ended up following a monk across the first time! But we learnt the steps as you describe above from observation and followed suit. I always found it scary though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Now that is really hair raising. I have heard about the notorious Hanoi traffic. It is a popular destination for Aussies now due to favourable exchange rates and a closer proximity than Europe. A friend actually said she gave up trying to cross and just went back to her hotel. Consequently they remained in one city block for most of their stay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started to reply on how to cross the street but decided to update the post instead. Have a look at my six easy rules πŸ™‚ You can share them with your friend for next time!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s