Published: February 13, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2004

Lisa and I have offices in different locations, but we each have classes in both. Lisa?s office is 1.6 Klms from our house while mine is about 1Klm. According to where our timetable dictates we need to be, we travel from home of a morning to either location and we travel in between campuses sometimes twice a day. Our mode of transport is to jump on the back of one of the many 50cc motor bikes whose drivers wait outside the gates or on any street corner for that matter. If the driver is a stranger, a fare needs to be negotiated prior to departure, or you will be in for an argument at the other end. However, with the drivers who regularly wait at the end of our house alleyway or outside either Uni campus the fare is a very reasonable 5,000 VND (Aust40c) from, to or in between. I carry my papers and other paraphernalia in a backpack and my laptop computer in another bag in my hand and away we go into traffic that can best be described as chaotic. Cars, buses, small trucks (large trucks can only enter the HCMC central area from late at night to early morning), pushbikes, cyclo?s, pedestrians and tens of thousands of other motorbikes surge like currents in a stream down every street. It is nothing to have traffic coming totally the wrong way towards you or for that matter straight up the footpath if you happen to be walking. Strangely though, the whole thing works as people make allowances and don?t get upset by others seeming indiscretions. I find this form of travel calming and it certainly is convenient and inexpensive.

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