A few observations
On couples on the road, on traffic and baggage, on my own traffic progress, and on how Vietnam is a bit like what I imagine China to be like.
I’m meeting less of them now that I seem to have sort of broken loose from the beaten and organized path at last, though I did meet one of them on the Halong Bay trip; couples. I hadn’t imagined meeting so many of them.
Often out on the road together for about half a year. Pretty cool! I can only hope that by the time I’m ‘we’ again, we will be doing this sort of thing.
I don’t even think it’s that different. You’re not going to be in dorms so you wouldn’t be meeting as many people as you do there. Maybe that has something to do with why you meet so many of them in the arranged tours. But you probably will be left with more budget as you share your beds, meals, bikerents, taxies and all sorts of things. So you can afford these more expensive activities like hiking and rock climbing tours etc.
And they might go out a little less than the single serving traveler does. Though none of them I met were boring, or annoyingly cute and clingy. In fact they were all very nice to hang out with.
And hold on; the Welsch were a couple since before they set out together, and they did dorms.
The most common thing I’ve seen transported on a bike in between 2 people has to be: a baby. And then I’m not talking about a 4 year old; they’re put on there already at 4 month or younger even. No helmets of course; they wouldn’t fit…
Other curious objects I’ve seen crossing traffic were: refrigerators, LCD screens, cupboards, trees, (varying in size between bonsai and a regular 12 footer) and huge piles of boxes… Anything!
Dogs usually stand in the front, paws hanging over the steering wheel. And often it’s more than three people, just to be practical and stuff.
Down the highway near Chiang Mai I saw the biggest thing being transported, on the back of a pick-up; an elephant. Just daily business, I guess?
When we came in to Hanoi in that minivan and I first saw that insane traffic I was in fact a little scared about going in on foot. Just that same night though I found the confidence to throw myself in and cross with the greatest of eaze.
The day after I went on the back of that mototaxi and loved being right in the middle of it.
Then came the day for me to do it on my own, on a bicycle. I went in at a rather quiet hour, but did end up in quite a jam later on, yet still felt very relaxed.
And tomorrow I plan to try again, on a real bike.
It’s the language; phonetically, the way different use of syllables gives different meaning to the same word. And their harsch and hurried pronunciation.
They shout a lot more too; Buddhists don’t do that.
And they know the concept of being in a rush; also a big difference from the rest of Southeast Asia.
More than elsewhere the streets are hung with adds and are they trying to make a hard sell.
But I’m loving Vietnam, it’s all so beautiful! I guess it really is a new phase and needs a new while to get used to. Can’t wait to give that to them properly!