Motorcycle traffic in Saigon is an infamous beast. A wild collection of seemingly random vessels buzzing about in different directions whose system appears to be wildly insane but is actually simple and adhered to by nearly everyone.
Drops, falls, collisions and fender benders are common. The density of the population is so great that it’s impossible not to bump into someone sooner or later but luckily the speed at which people travel is usually somewhat low so any impact usually ends up being just a minor scrape or a simple ding.
When a collision does occur or even just a rude manuever by a fellow commuter, it usually involves a scathing hairy eyeball and maybe a curt word or two. I haven’t been home to the US in quite a while but I’m still confident that a traffic altercation that includes dramatic insults and some sort of firearm is still a daily occurance.
Why do Americans shoot each other so much? And why when driving? Driving is supposed to be fun and a way to escape the stress of life and work and all that. Driving used to be a luxury and the rare time to be alone, “My Cadillac Hour”, as it was once affectionally called. Now it’s almost a combat mission to get to the worthless job so you can get back to the complacent family and then do cruddy little things to make you feel like you haven’t completely wasted your life. And a handgun somehow makes you feel better even if it didn’t bring back your halcyon days of hanging out with the boys or getting it on with the girls.
Oh. Now I get it.
Anyway, back to traffic. If Americans had to drive in Vietnam there would be more murder-suicides in one day than this country has seen since the 1960’s.
By the same token there is also a hilarious parallel that occurs to Vietnamese people when they first try driving on the largely fast and unpredictable American roadways.