I’m sitting in the backseat of a motorcycle marveling at what I see around me: motorcycles (or motorbikes, as the Vietnamese call them), cars, and bicycles drive on either side of the street, there are no street signs, and people run dangerously in and out of traffic. The general rule of the road, I gather, is “declare your intentions and we’ll adjust accordingly.” Adriana, the Polish girl I took a taxi with from the Ho Chi Minh City airport, was right: “If you’re crossing the road, never stop or turn back. Once you commit you just have to go.”

“Everyone’s honking all the time,” I say to the driver of the motorbike, Hanh, a fellow teacher at An Giang University and soon to be friend, who has offered to show me around my new home, Long Xuyen City. “What does honking mean here?” I ask, confused because honking clearly does not quite mean “be careful!” as it does in the US.

“Well… I dunno,” he says, thinking. “I guess it means hurry up.”

“That makes sense,” I laugh, feeling a deep, peaceful love for the chaos around me.


Post by our teacher in Long Xuyen, Nick Schcolnik.

Original blog post from http://nicksexcellentadventures.wordpress.com/