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Might makes right

My host university is located off a major east-west street comprised of six westbound lanes (and I use the word "lane" in the loosest way) and five eastbound lanes; separated by a one-lane landscaped median, above which, runs a branch of the city's elevated light rail system. 

Directly in front of the university, spanning the ten-lane street, and running beneath the elevated light rail, runs a well-intended, rarely-used, cat-walk for those of us who would wish to safely cross the street by foot. 

One late afternoon last week, I emerged from my university at the start of rush hour traffic. Knowing the Grab rate had already increased exponentially due to supply and demand and increased traffic, instead of immediately booking a Grab home, I opted to climb to the cat walk and check things out. 

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I thought I'd narrate two pictures for “effect”. 

In the picture below (which I took from the cat-walk) you are looking east up the westbound six lane” side of the street. Believe it or not there are lane lines painted on the pavement. Look close and you'll see the faint dashes. The elevated light rail is viable to the right of the picture. Note in the center of the picture you can see a white and blue bus has decided it was time to turn left to pass under the light rail where there is an eastbound bus entering into the westbound lane - note the bus did not "pre-merge into the nearest turn lane, it simply decided it was time to turn and it did. You can also see that behind the bus traffic is packed into the lanes like sardines in a can. 

picture of congested traffic. In the center is a large bus turing to the right and another bus entering from the left underneath the overpass

The photo below shows how seamlessly things work.  As long as everybody knows their place and keeps to it, somehow it all works out. Buses trump cars. Cars trump motorbikes. Motorbikes trump pedestrians. The only accidents I have seen is when someone forgets their place. As far as driving in a lane goes, lanes are ignored, unless it happens to be a space to fill. People navigate the road moving from “space” to “space”. In all other regards, people are “lane-blind”.

same traffic but the buses are now in full turn.

In the picture below, the levee is about to break… Speaking of which, you really should see this street during rush hour when it's raining.  It's indescribable chaos. By the way…the price of cars in Vietnam has dropped substantially since I was here in 2018-2019, and more cars are on the roads than ever before. Grid-lock is becoming more common.

traffic congested street.



JULY, p. 9

AUGUST, p. 9


OCTOBER,  p.g 2,  p. 3, p. 4

NOVEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, p.6, p.7

DECEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5 p.6, p.7, p.8

JANUARY p.2, p.3

FEBRUARY, p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, 

MARCH p.2, p.3, p.4 p.5, p.6, p.7

APRIL p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, p.6, p.7, p.8, p.9, p.10, p11

May, p.2, p.2b, p.4