I was thinking how to present this travel in a not-so-travelogue-ish-kind-of-way but my not so creative mind is not working my way so, instead of moving on with the usual "what happens next" I thought of just presenting one of my favorite pastimes when we were in Vietnam: watching people in motos a.k.a moto madness! It's like watching people pass you by and you take photos of those that interest you instead, you ride in non-aircon taxi and you take photos of the moto riders that zoom off your way.
I’ve been living in Quezon City (the most populous city in the Philippines) for eight years now—where the traffic is worst and the numbers of public vehicles is tantamount to the numbers of human beings strewn in every corner of the street—but NEVER have I been this scared crossing the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
Motos or motorcycles are the main mode of transportation in the Ho Chi Minh because it’s faster, and easy to maneuver and squeeze in between traffic. But is it safe? You can ask a child on that.
In as much as I like running, I enjoy walking. But walking in this busy streets is perhaps the most dangerous way of getting around. While there are crosswalks, motos and cars will beat you to it. And they come from all sorts of directions so that even if you want to take every precautionary measure, it would be useless. These motos rarely honk by the way. They just whiz away, veer around you, and cross the street in full speed.
Everyone rides the motos and in all types of weather. A family of four can fit on one tightly squeezed moto. When the weather is hot, riders try to cover every exposed skin as much as they could. This comes from wearing a hat, face cover, mask, arm warmer, gloves or wearing long sleeves. When it rains, they usually wear a poncho and a hat.
Girls in skirts and dresses and high heels find no problem sitting with their legs still in poise as they zoom off at their destinations.
Since motos do not have trunks, everything must be held in either on the passenger’s lap, tied at the back, or hand held from the side of the moto (takes a lot of 'great' skill). This scene is so similar in Cambodia. Tiny motos carrying huge items from a refrigerator or television set to a stacks of sacks or lumber.
Even the nuns ride the motos. Nuns in a hurry. Perhaps they are on a mission.
Riders on their way to the office. Easy to wear long sleeves and coat (and all the dust of the earth comes with it).
They are not twins, are they? Actually, the shirt is bought on a buy-one-take-one basis.