Tuesday, July 9, 2013


One of the joys and characteristics of  HCMC is the absolute swarms of motorbikes careening down the streets with 1, 2, 3, 4 or many people on one  bike.  And the bikes include "trucks" made from a motorcycle or motor bike that is now fitted with a cargo area of several square feet, sometimes designed as three wheeled motorcycles/bikes.  We have observed these carrying big loads, maybe a ton or more of steel or steel cable as well as other loads that are stacked higher than the rider and lashed down. Sure, these trucks accelerate a bit slower but they still tool right along with traffic --- pictures will be forthcoming.

Well, now to the excitement of my first ride which took place on Sunday night here, Saturday night in Los Angeles.  I have been trying to get some calcium tablets and multi-vitamins to no avail so far at the super market.  I didn't look at one market and the other didn't have either product and Leanna and I mentioned this in passing to one of the volunteers, Dat.  Well, about 30 minutes later he shows up at our door and asks me if  I would like to go shopping for the calcium and vitamins, that he has time available to take me.  Sure I say and he says to meet in the courtyard by the canteen in fifteen minutes, okay.  In 10 minutes I am out there enjoying the fresh breeze and the night while listening to the students around me and Dat pulls up on his motorbike.  Honestly I was in shock for a few seconds --- my thoughts ranged from do I really want to go to the store to how do I say no, thank you --- but then I thought what the heck I have to get on a bike sooner or later.  We put on our helmets and took off around the streets on campus where there was little traffic toward the boulevard that fronts the campus and is very BUSY.  Of course I am wondering what it will be like driving in the midst of the traffic swarm but there we went charging out into traffic with a California stop. I forgot to mention it had rained hard about an hour before and there were puddles and so forth and I am thinking about slipping on the pavement.  It was exciting and I will write more soon but now work calls.
Ho Chi Minh City --- July 10.  And I will get a picture on a motorbike, maybe.

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