Backseat Driving - Rules of the Road

by Qui Duc Nguyen, Aug 1, 1995 | Destinations: Vietnam / Ho Chi Minh City

1. What are you waiting for? You only have two weeks before getting on your motorcycle. Go put your thumb on the horn. Now. Press hard. Keep pressing for the next month and a half.

2. Never stop. Resist the urge to stop. Even if you're inches from the guy in front. He'll go by in a sec. Keep moving.

3. What are you waiting for? There is at least an inch of space right there in front of you. Put your bike in there. Now. Yes, between the bus and the guy with the five TVs on his back seat.

4. I know it's a red light. Do you see anyone stopping? Keep moving. And keep your thumb on that horn.

5. I know it's a red light. But there's no electricity. Keep moving. Yes right through the intersection. Don't forget the horn!

6. Stop. It's a red light! There's a cop, that's why. You stop when there's a cop, idiot.

7. Yes, turn right. I know it's a one-way street. But do you see a cop around?

8. I know there are eight people on that motorcycle. Just keep your eyes in front of you. And your thumb on the horn, please.

9. I know there's someone right behind us. In fact, there are 3,291 motorcycles right behind us. Plus two pedicabs, three bicyclists, four baskets of quacking ducks and five baskets of pigs. Now will you keep moving? Don't worry about what's behind you. Keep going.

10. That's OK, that's just my left leg. We'll come back for it later. Or I'll just grow another one. Keep that thumb on the horn, will ya?

11. Truck passing. No, don't move over! Just stop breathing. The fumes. The fumes.

12. No, no, no. On the right! You pass on the right. This is Vietnam, that's why.

13. What do you mean, "a lane"? A lane? What a concept.

14. Watch that man! Watch that man! Honk! Swerve! What do you mean, "in the middle of the street"? I know he is in the middle of the street. Where else is he going to take his midday nap?

15. Yes, turn left now. See that sign? It says left turn allowed at red light. Hey, watch that car behind you! Left turn allowed, but not when a car is coming behind you, dummy!

16. Leave the rear view mirrors alone! I know they are pointed at the sky. Maybe people here want to know when the Air France flight arrives. Sometimes they use mirrors to shave with. Who cares what's behind you?

17. Watch where you're going! That's the ninth pothole you've run over in the last twenty seconds.

18. I know the lights don't work here. They work on the other side of the intersection. That's enough, isn't it?

19. Oh, that's just an accident. I've seen eight of them since we turned left.

20. What do you mean you can't make a U-turn? I know it's a one way-street. I know there are all those motorcycles in front of us. We have to make a U-turn. Now. No matter what. Because we're lost, that's why. Honk the horn, will ya?