Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rules Change In The East

It has been said by more than one expat that there are no traffic laws in Vietnam. But although red lights are routinely ignored, driving down the opposite side of the street into oncoming traffic is considered acceptable, and that during rush hour intersections generally resemble one of Dante's circles of hell, it is not entirely accurate to say that there are no rules governing traffic.

Here are the few that I've figured out:

1) The main responsibility of the driver is to avoid hitting anything directly in front of them.

2) The horn is used (almost ceaselessly) to indicate that you are behind someone and are driving faster than they are.

3) Bigger vehicles trump smaller vehicles unless the smaller vehicles have enough maneuverablity and speed to avoid being pasted by the larger vehicle.

4) Generally speaking you never stop unless, a) you choose to stop at a red light, b) death will occur if you don't stop. This is especially true if you are a pedestrian attempting to cross a street. Instead you either speed up or slow down, and if you are driving a vehicle you can change direction. If you are a pedestrian and you choose to change direction in the middle of traffic this is tantamount to playing Russian roulette.

video

This is what it looks like to drive into oncoming traffic, from the perspective of a mortal (i.e. me) on the back of a motorbike.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Necrotizing Fasciitis

Whatever you do...do NOT perform a Google image search of Necrotizing Fasciitis.

You've been warned.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Three fragments regarding fruit

First one:

I was asking for limes from a fruit vendor who speaks a little English, and when I saw a basket of them I pointed and said, "Limes."

"No, no," she said, "lemons."

Having quartered more than a few limes in my life, I felt reasonably assured in telling her, "In English, they are called limes."

"No," she said, "they are lemons."

And there it is. Now when I need limes, I ask for lemons.

Second one:



They have green oranges here.

Third one:
2 shots of rice vodka
3 oz orange juice
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
1 tbs peach nectar
Pour over ice, top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.
Call it whatever you want; I call it a Saigon Sling.