Friday, October 9, 2015

Hanoi: Traffic You Have to Pray In

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying Hanoi. I really am.
The only thing that is, um, not so enjoyable, is the feeling of risking my life every time I cross the street. There are a few intersections governed by lights, but for the most part the roads seem to basically be a free for all. There are very few stop lights or stop signs, which means that there is never a pause in the mass of traffic. This is true even in side streets where there is two-way traffic on a narrow, essentially one-lane road.

To cross the street, you just have to step out into traffic (there are no breaks), keep a steady pace as you walk across, and hope for the best. Sometimes I utter a little prayer under my breath and try to keep myself from getting too worried. I think that crossing the street would be better blindfolded because you wouldn't be able to see all of the cars, cyclos, and motorbikes coming at you!

All of the motorbike drivers are used to driving around pedestrians, so they magically part around you so you can cross safely. It's like walking through a swarm of bees, and it kind of sounds like one too. If you stop or slow down, you are much more likely to get hit. Drivers are also constantly honking, so if they fear you might change pace or something they will honk so that you know they are there. I really dig Hanoi, but I couldn't live here simply because of the noise of everyone constantly honking their horns.

Seriously, the traffic is crazy. But I'm used to it now.

If you think the video I took was a fluke, watch this compilation:

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