I was recently flipping through the channels of Vietnamese cable hoping to find something mildly interesting that I could understand. I’m not sure why I keep going back in vain to the remote in hope that I somehow missed a diamond in the ruff; BBC or CNN or a travel channel.
As my demeanor was deflating with every click I suddenly saw the Superfriends flicker across my screen. I stopped and did a double take. Memories of Saturday morning cartoons came rushing back to me. However, there was an additional familiarity to the Superfriends; I felt a weird déjà vu when I saw Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. The masked crusaders looked strangely similar to what I see every day on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. I started to wonder if the Imperial Palace in Ho Chi Minh City was really the secret Hall Of Justice where all of the masked crusaders (errr…I mean masked commuters) gathered to fight evil and injustice in Vietnam.
HCMC is a motorbike mecca. If you’ve ever been here, you know what I mean; if you haven’t then you can’t even begin to imagine what a motorbike commuting mess it is. There are 8 million people in HCMC and 6 million motorbikes. There are really no rules except ‘watch’ your front wheel and use your horn. There are some ‘traffic lights’, however they mean very little as motorbikes travel en masse, if you have a few other motorbikes willing to go with you through the red light and take on the cross traffic – then you go. They travel in packs; packs have power, not the silly red and green lights.
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