Saturday, May 26, 2012

Observations from the other side

I felt like the mere act of crossing a street in Asian deserved it's own blog post.  Because it's really, by far, the most dangerous thing you can do here.

For instance:

Taiwan:   Pedestrians Have Right of  Way.  The first thing you notice in Taiwan are people on scooters.  And, very quickly you learn that they go first, then the pedestrians go at their own risk.  This is not a point up for debate.   So when I saw the sign to right, I thought, "Is this some kind of a joke?"  Now I know that I am usually the last person people call to watch their kids but even I wouldn't attempt to try and take the right of way with a young child (as shown) through the streets of Taiwan.

Hong Kong:  Although everything I did in Hong Kong scared the shit out of me, I think that Hong Kong is a highly advanced city and therefore all forms of transportation are fairly safe.  With that said, driving on the left side of the road, where on one side you are avoiding traffic and on the other side, there is a shear cliff is inappropraite (see scary clift shot from said bus window).  Also double decker buses should not be moving at 60 kpm.  But, I guess even "SLOW" in two languages is relative in Hong Kong.

Vietnam:  Ummm...I am not sure to go with this one.  See below.  There are at least seven motobikes and a car or two in the cross walk.  And, for some reason, the Vietnamese decided stop lights were a bad investment, so the crosswalks in Saigon always like this.  Now at some point, you have to cross a street to get to where you want to go.

So this is what you do:

1. You man up.  This is actually very difficult to do but it's the first step to success.
2. You only look ahead.  Looking both ways will only freak you out because there is always oncoming traffic.
3. You move at one speed.  Never speed up or slow down.  It will only confuse oncoming traffic.
4. Once you make it to the other side mentally prepare to cross the next street.

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