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Oh My Hanoi

Posted on | February 16, 2011 | No Comments

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hanoi-traffic

I once broke the front windscreen of a Peugot 205 with my head. It was late, I was coming home from the college library. Foolishly, I decided to cross the road from between parked cars. I never even saw the car that hit me coming.

Two days later, with nothing but cuts and bruises and a mass of scars on the back of my head which would put any thug to shame, I left the hospital and went back to school.

I am Intersection Navigation Impaired. I suck at crossing the street. Imagine. My husband regularly says to my kids, “Don’t cross the street with your Mother, she’s not safe.” It’s embarrassing.

My skills failure at intersections was always destined to be an issue on our trip. The first incident was in Lima. It was very minor. The lights had changed when I stepped out onto the road. The car that was trying to scoot through on the tail of the light color change screeched to a halt barely touching my knees. My pride was more wounded by the way my ever-supportive husband yelled at me.

I’ve been more careful since and it’s been good. Honestly. No events to write home about. But yesterday we arrived in Hanoi. This is traffic hell for someone like me. The waves of motor-scooters just keep on coming. There may or may not be traffic lights at an intersection and if there are, they may or may not function. And if they function, it appears that drivers interpret them as “just for cars” – of which there are few – and the motor-scooters just keeping on coming. On our way back from dinner last night I almost walked right into a little old lady on a scooter with no lights!!

I fear I may not make it out of here alive.

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