The bicycles hit back

Who said men have all the fun and the power in this country. And who said that the hierarchy of who drives what on Saigon’s busy streets always needs to be prescribed by the size of your vehicle…

Check out this cool customer (courtesy of riding her bicycle the wrong way up a busy street, and knocking over two frustrated men on their motorbikes in the process.

With her headphones playing her favourite tune, and her shopping basket hardly compromised, the cheeky cyclist walks off and leaves them with nothing to do but gesticulate in vain.

And there was me worrying about the hapless bus drivers on my commute each day.

Girl power.


The Art of Being Vietnamese

In a short while, we will be subjected to 2012 “lists”.  Top Ten Celebrity Gossip of the Year.  Most Popular Boy’s Name.  Worst Dressed Politician.

All of the above, and more.

Inspired by a meeting with an elderly Vietnamese monk last month, here, in the spirit of such things (ie for fun, rather than for anything more meaningful) are my “Top Things Learnt about the Vietnamese in 2012”.

Anyone is welcome to add more to these or, indeed, share with me their own SE Asian (or elsewhere…who cares!) versions – I expect to add to this myself in the future, however I only had a short window at Singapore airport earlier to reel these off…

1. Face protection – “one life, one face” is up there as a life motto for most Vietnamese.  No matter what the scenario, saving face in all situations is paramount.

Granted, face saving is not specific to Vietnam, however they do it so well over here! Continue reading