frogger in hanoi

Hanoi Travel Blog

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there's this computer game classic called frogger

you, the frog, have to jump to the other side of the street without being splashed by the traffic on the road

well... hanoi is like that... only that you are not a frog but a traveller scared shitless and the traffic consists mostly of motorcycles. worst traffic i've seen so far and worse honking than in china or south america

have to google for death stats here... it's absolutely reckless and not the usual 'looks scary but nothing happens'... saw some metal on metal crashes and some pretty close near-misses.

but thats not all as the government seems to be quite a comedian: on the big roads around the old city (which is a chaotic labyrinth outside our normal dimension) they installed traffic lights... nice you think. so you start to walk in front of the 40 or so motorcycles that are lined up and ready, but as soon as you are at about 2/3 of the zebra crossing the light switches from red to green in an instant and so do the engines of the bikers.

there are those moments where your body pumps adrenaline everywhere and you know that you have to run or die - this is one of them

but running is usually more dangerous than just slowly continue to walk and hope for the best... :-)

have to admit though that it's quite fun to watch other hanoi newbies walk into the traffic death trap hehe
onelegasskicker says:
tff (that's too freaking funny...). Hope you looked back and had a nice laugh.
Posted on: Mar 12, 2008
carpefunk says:
comedy! I've been in the hanoi before too
Posted on: May 09, 2007
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if i had to stereotype hanoi in a sentence it would be:
"the bastard child of thailand & china, communist boarding school dropout with a capitalist lover"

unfortunately there's a lot of chinese influence around... and so far the biggest amount of golddigging mentality i've seen so far. absolutely everyone tries to make a quick buck from you, all the hotels & cafes power-sell their travel-services, the mototaxi drivers are easily the world's biggest bunch of people that should get a nice beating now and then

it's the good old chinese 'entrepreneurial' spirit, that many admire but probably is rather ridiculous and not really entrepreneurial at all... what happens is that one person has a good idea (or discovers by accident that a stupid tourist paid him for something silly way more than it costs him) and a trillion other people copy the idea... not innovating further, but just 1:1 copying, including name/design or whatever else proofed successful

thanks to that kindergarten-business-mentality you get about ten "moto/cyclo my friend??? HEY??? HEYYY???' for each ten meters you walk

and thanks to tourists who think those poor people deserve a nice and friendly chat about why you don't need their services at the moment or even worse, people who actually use them, they multiply and get even more aggressive.

that's not the only case... there are also cafes / travel agencies / hotels... all the same or similar names (sinh cafe, prince XY hotel, etc) that push their stupid lowprice tours without any salesmanship. i really liked my hotel, but the staff was not only rude & incompetent (nothing new, though) but also never missed the chance to mention the stupid tours they sell from some lousy operators

but ignoring those issues that seem to come with a communist background it's really fun (but exhausting!) to walk around hanoi and just emerge in the crazy world around you. more on traffic later :-)

flickr set: hanoi
photo by: mario26