Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mom and Dad Meet Vietnamese "Traffic"

(PICTURE: The guy in blue is our taxi driver, Minh. Standing in the same pose as the picture I posted a few days ago when he first arrived is Justin. Working the video camera is my Dad being protected from the rain by Huyen. NOT PICTURED: My mother hyperventilating in the car).

In Vietnam there are all sorts of things that stop one from having a nice fluid ride from Point A to Point B. The most common deterrent is generally the traffic. However, today, on the road to Huyen's village, my parents and I experience a new type of road delay.

As we were driving on the one lane back-country road, we came upon a little road construction. The construction crew was spreading out gravel along a road which I can only assume would eventually be flattened to make for a smooth road. However, on this day, there were a few problems:

Problem 1: A construction truck had just dumped a huge pile of rocks in the road in front of us. The pile of rocks was literally three feet high and blocking the whole road.

Problem 2: A truck was stuck in the road in front of us. it had tried to go over a small pile of rocks and had dug its wheels in pretty deep.

Just as my mother started to panic and asked for the third time, "Can we back-up?" another truck pulled up behind us and dropped another HUGE pile of rocks. We were literally now sandwiched between two giant piles of rocks.

In the end, Justin saved the day. Justin found two wooden planks and placed them under the car's tires (you can see them in the picture above). With us pushing the stuck truck, the truck was able to fly out of the ruts. All the locals who came out to watch the random Americans told Huyen, "Americans are so smart." All those times Justin has gotten caught in the snow finally paid off...

In case you missed it in the second paragraph, all this happened on the way to Huyen's city/village. That's right, The Augusts met The Nguyens. But that is a story for tomorrow...