Yesterday I had my first motorbike accident. You never picture your first accident but if I had, it wouldn't have gone down like this. I was on a basically empty street (very unusual for Hanoi) when all of a sudden two high school students cut directly across the street on their bicycles. The two were chatting with each other and didn't bother to look either way before crossing the street...Or in other words, standard operating procedure for Vietnam. I was going about 35KM an hour (21 MPH) when I saw them crossing my path just about twenty feet ahead. My natural instincts took over and I found myself doing three things:
1. Screaming, "WHOAH, WHOAH, WHOAH!!!!"
2. Squeezing both the hand brake and pushing down on the foot brake at the same time....something I believe they tell you never to do in motorcycle school (which I took three years ago in LA).
3. Putting my left foot on the ground in hopes of it being a third brake -- yeah, like in a cartoon.
Despite my fast reaction, I couldn't slow down in time and I nailed the bicycle's back tire. Immediately I started to apologize to the kid, "I'm so sorry...." However, the kid just looked at me, glanced at his tire and then crossed the opposing traffic...without looking.
Thankfully nobody was hurt...