Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hanoi - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Avoidance

Hanoi is insane. If ever there were any rules of the road in this country, they were forgotten many years ago. Traffic freely intermingles, with bikes often from three roads converging in one nightmarish nexus and no attention paid to traffic lights. This is not an exaggeration. I have seen bikes coming from opposite directions in the same lane, merrily beeping (always beeping) and gracefully winding around each other. Naturally crossing the road could invoke catatonia. The only answer, paradoxical though it might sound, is to ignore the traffic. Just walk, don't even look at it. Walk! The bikes will magically weave around you. There is a nervous cost to this strategy - we all felt exhausted at the end of each day - but it will get you across the road.

I cannot believe I am alive!


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