How to Cross the Street in Vietnam

04/17/2015
By ATA

So, you’ve just arrived in Vietnam and your senses are overwhelmed. You’ve got street vendors with steaming bowls of pho and bun bo filling the air with the mouth-watering smells of roast pork, beef, chili, and mint. You’ve got the roar of engines and honking horns and bustling crowds in your ears. You’ve got the sites of skyscrapers and temples and absolute madness around every corner in your eyes, a constant reminder you that you really are in an entirely new world. And now, after you’ve landed in all that wonderful crazy jumble, you have to cross the street.

hanoi
Your first lesson in traveling Vietnam– crossing the street

Crossing the street sounds like a simple task, right? So you walk up to the curb, spot a crosswalk and hang out for a minute. You plan on waiting for the signal, the rush of traffic to ebb and then stop, and you’ll cross. Well, that’s the plan anyways.

But as you stand there waiting you may start to realize, “Hey, the traffic never stops.”

Like a swarm the motorbikes and taxis, trucks and buses are going to keep coming, zipping around each other, laying on their horns, and never slowing down. Your sudden realization is spot on. The traffic really never stops.

You stand in confusion. Now what do you do? You watch the locals stride out into the mess, strolling through the hectic road in calm confidence. “Well,” you think, “If they can do it, I probably can, too.”

Hoian015
She walks with such confidence!

So it’s time to be brave; it’s time to be bold. You’re a world-traveler after all. You can handle anything– even crossing the street!
You look to your left, there are a hundred scooters charging towards you. Like a courageous matador facing down a raging bull you step out into the fray. One step, still alive. Two steps, the waters part. The scooters flow past you on either side. You feel like Moses splitting the sea. Your confidence grows and you keep walking steadily forward.

Street
You’re doing great. Don’t stop now!

You’ve now made it to the center of the street! You’re halfway there, you brave soul!

Look to your right, the madness is coming from the other direction now. You’ve figured this out, you know how it works. Sure-footed steps, staring the motorists straight in the eye to let them know you’re there and you’re not backing down.

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Just a few more feet and you’ll be safely curb-side again! A cyclist appears out of no where– your steps speed up, a quick lunge towards the sidewalk and he misses you by a hair, ringing his bell as he flies past.

You’ve done it! You deserve an award! Hands raised in triumph, you don’t even care that the street vendors are looking at you like you’re a little bit crazy. You crossed the street and lived to tell the tale. Reward yourself with an iced ca phe or fresh coconut milk as you stroll on through the city to explore this incredible country. You can handle anything now.

Your first lesson in traveling Vietnam… How to cross the street!

Tags: Vietnam tours

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