Frogger in Saigon

Saigon, Vietnam

In Vietnam motorbikes are the main mode of transportation. There are an estimated 8 million motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh city alone, making up a mind-blowing 95% of the total vehicles. Staggering, but as seen in my video below this story, it’s so dense they look like a swarm of bees. Follow this link for another video of showing how insane the traffic can get, Motorbikes.

Other facts – 45% of the population in Vietnam is age 25-54. Anyone over the age of 54 equates to only 14% of the population, versus the US which has 28% within this category.  The reason??? Adults were massacred in the Vietnam war and the invasion of Pol Pot came shortly after. Seeing an elderly person is a very rare occurrence and the result – this population is very young.

Vietnamese currency is the Dong, with an exchange rate of 22,186 Dong per US dollar.  Think about that number, can’t you just see the lights flicker in your brain trying to do the math?  I have a degree in Finance and trust me when calculating the cost of things in Vietnam, I just stare off into space and dream of floating abacuses. What makes it so difficult is they still have 200 Dong coins up to 1,000,000 Dong notes. It’s worse than fucking monopoly. “Hi sir, here’s your bill, 1,415,286 Dong.” I stare blankly, cogs start turning, and the lights start flickering throughout the house. I open my wallet and the stack is so thick with random Dong notes, I look like Tony Montana. More than a few times after having no idea what the amount equated to in US dollars and not caring either, I just handed my wallet to the waiter and said, “have at it.”

Finally, the most dangerous thing about Vietnam is not food poisoning, The Viet Cong, or yellow fever; its crossing the fucking street.  Yes, that’s right, crossing the fucking street.  Stop lights? There are a few. Crosswalks? Yes, they exist. Does anyone give a shit about either? NO!!!  There is no better example of a human game of Frogger than crossing the street in Vietnam.  When you go, (and you better go) be consistent or death comes quickly if you hesitate.

I had a belly laugh yesterday watching a group of Japanese tourists holding hands together closely in a pod, crossing the street. Men leading the way and their wives in tow. The wives’ eyes were closed while holding tightly to their husband’s hands. It looked like they were walking through a Haunted House, I was laughing so hard I am sure they could hear me, funny shit!  So, remember one thing when crossing the street in Vietnam, “You hesitate, you die round eye!”

If you enjoyed hearing about Vietnam, you will love this story about the national dish, Pho!

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3 replies
  1. Myra Levine
    Myra Levine says:

    I live vicariously thru your written word. I will never go to Vietnam. Never planned on going and now I do not have to because you just took me on your journey. Thanks


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