Friday, September 23, 2016

Wave Gently and Walk Swiftly...

The first thing you notice in Ho Chi Minh City is the traffic. It's an amazing swift-moving river of torrents and obstacles. Crossing the street as a pedestrian becomes some kind of delicate art form.  It reminds me of when Joshua's priests put their feet in the water of the Jordan River.  When the feet touched the river, the waters parted.  To cross the road in Ho Chi Minh City, you kind of edge out into the traffic and then slowly keep moving forward.  For extra help, you can wave your arm toward oncoming traffic to alert them that a pedestrian is making his way through the river.  The massive flow of bicycles, scooters and motorcycles sort of glides around you, but you do have to keep an eye out for anything larger than you as cars and buses have the right of way.

Once you are in the river, you don't want to stop.  Just keep edging forward so the traffic will be able to predict your direction and move around you.  If you stop, you're likely to get hit. Wave gently, walk swiftly and arrive alive!

It's particularly intimidating at night!

And in case you don't wan't your arms and hands to get tan from the sun, or don't want to get specks in your eyes, or dust in your nose or mouth - they sell a wide array of trendy coverings to keep you clean, dust-free and ....very very hot! It's like 90 degrees out there with 70% or higher humidity!

Rain never stops anyone here.  Just pull out those ponchos and keep going.

Then there are the little shops... 

There are fancy high rises here for modern offices, but not very many compared to the local shops just around the corner. Colorful fruit shops are very common. 

The open markets sell everything you need, and some things you might not want!

Large frogs?  What for?

For this, of course!  Frog Porridge! It's famous!  We are told it is spicy and yummy. Not sure we'll be sampling that one!

The bicycle and motorbike repair shop is a common site - just pull in, wait a few minutes for the job to get done, and your vehicle is ready to roll.

And if you just need some air in those tires - these compressors are on nearly every street corner with the "shop" owner sitting nearby waiting for your business.

The tailor is also just around the corner - every corner! This tailor is right outside our apartment complex. Another one set up shop just a few yards away.  There is no excuse for having a loose hem!

For garbage disposal, these little mom-and-pop shops just put their little (or not-so-little) sacks of trash beside the nearest tree by the sidewalk. As the day progresses, the sidewalk then becomes full of little trash bags as well as anything else that needs to be thrown away.  Street cleaners come by later in the day to pick up the trash and haul it off.

Because almost no one owns a vehicle large enough to transport items, the delivery business is available any time, day or night, rain or shine.  You need it - they'll deliver.

And in case you just get missing Western food, that, too, is just around the corner. I did find a place with an ice cream drink that looked like a Dairy Queen Blizzard- called a "Tornado"!!! You can also enjoy McDonalds and KFC, but none may taste quite like what you are used to.  But not to worry, Vietnamese food is delicious and cheap - and with 100 different varieties of noodle soup, you don't have to think very hard about what to have for lunch or dinner - just order more noodle soup!

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