Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bumper Cars

Twice this week I've gently bumped motorbikes in front of me at red lights. I've also been bumped about three or four times over the last couple of days. To me, this is just another big difference between Vietnamese traffic and American traffic. If someone gets bumped in America, you can be sure they will get out of the car, inspect the possible damage and perhaps exchange insurance information. On top of that, you can bet that many Americans will suffer a slight bit of anger if there car gets bumped. And, furthermore, most likely the person doing the bumping will feel some kind of regret or embarrassment. In Vietnam, not so much. The first time I bumped someone this week, they didn't even turn around. The second time I bumped someone, they turned around, saw that I was a foreigner, and smiled. As far as all the people who bumped me, well, they just sort of acted like I was a pothole.

With the roads becoming increasingly narrower here because of all the cars, I find that more people are bumping into each other while stopping at traffic lights. Sometimes all the bumping and jostling for position feels like a giant game of bumper cars...