Daring Myself To Drive in Hanoi

Slice of Life Day 12 SOL19

This was partly inspired by reading another slicer writing something about ‘rising to the challenge’. I once spent a year and a half teaching in Hanoi, it’s a brilliant city full of life, colour and warmhearted people, but the traffic is something else!

This was my Hero Honda, such an appropriate name for a trusty little 100cc bike. It’s definitely preferable to a scooter. I had had a similar bike in India and was quite used to riding that around the fairly uncluttered streets of the city we were in for several years.

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But Hanoi was another story, it’s streets are filled to the brim with mopeds and scooters rather than cars. If you cross a road in Vietnam you have to step out into the traffic and then keep walking and negotiating, while the traffic tends to weave around you. It turns into an interesting kind of dance with the traffic as your partner. Stand and wait for a break and you’ll be there hours later. Also they drive on the right and in Australia and India we drive on the left.

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But I had a bike and my husband had returned to work in Australia and I needed to get to places quicker than I could on foot and it was far too hot and humid to be pleasant walking. So I made the decision one day and told myself, if you don’t do it now, you never will. So I steeled myself inwardly, got the bike out and rode down our little laneway and out into the traffic. DSCF0258

And guess what, it turned out to be a lot easier than I expected. I just more or less went with the flow and followed the others and it worked. I was fairly familiar with the streets and layout of the city and its one way system, so after my initial trepidation, my confidence grew and I soon became quite adept. Bikes are so much easier at swerving in and out of heavy traffic than cars are. Sometimes it was almost fun!DSCF0433

The streets got very busy around Christmas, this is wall to wall bikes, they use the sidewalks too if necessary, pedestrians need to watch out!

My only incident was when I was stopped at some traffic lights one day and a car came too close to me and rolled over my left foot. But that’s another slice!IMG_0126

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8 thoughts on “Daring Myself To Drive in Hanoi

  1. The first step in conquering any fear is to make up your mind to do it. I could easily lose my car in a parking lot here; how do you remember where your bike is in a sea of bikes?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The image of crossing the street as “an interesting kind of dance with the traffic as your partner” is incredible! I’ve been to Hanoi once and that is really the absolutely perfect description. Also, I’m super-impressed that you drove there – and that it ended up not being as bad as you expected.

    Liked by 1 person

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