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  • Writer's pictureJulieta

I get run over on Ho Chi Minh Avenue, Vietnam

At the Moon Festival, a multitude of motorcycles and an (un)happy ending in Ho Chi Minh City.

Brrrrr brrrrr, piiiip, piiiip, piiiip. Lights dazzling the eyes, the senses attentive to navigate the streets, radars turned on to avoid being the victim of a collision. In Vietnam they ran over me in the sense that the motorcycles overwhelmed me, they made me give up. And I gave up my desire to cross to the other side of the avenue to see what was on the other side of Ho Chi Minh.

Trying to cross Ho Chi Mihn Avenue during rush hour during the Moon Festival is like being a cute Pikachu trying to fight Charizards on a battlefield. One feels so small, so helpless, in the midst of a roar of engines and smoke from the exhaust pipes.

It's just that it takes a certain degree of skill (perhaps learned by force), to dare to set foot on the pavement. It is a question of courage, of standing up and saying here I go. On the contrary, you can spend hours stagnant, standing on a corner. When I say hours I'm not exaggerating. Talking with a crew in the gallery, back on the plane, she told me that she spent 60 minutes waiting to cross an intersection, since she was afraid to cross the avenue, for fear that vehicles would pass over her.

The only way my companion had to cross was thanks to the help of a local person, who like a shield, grabbed her hand and guided her to the other side. And the locals do know how to coexist in this chaos of engines, pedals, brakes and clutches. I myself saw with my own eyes a woman crossing an avenue with thousands (literally thousands) of motorcycles that traveled incessantly through the middle of the avenue (and also over the sidewalks) all converging in an opposite, perpendicular direction.

In order not to be that dissonant line, I decided to travel through the city in a line parallel to the direction of traffic. I mean, my hotel is starting point zero. From the hotel I move from left to right, following the flow of traffic. But I don't dare to cross backwards or forwards.

The center of Vietnam is eclectic, the events in the city take place in dizzying time, where the speed of motorcycles is a daily postcard. In fact, Jenny, my tour guide, told me that Vietnam has more motorcycles than people. Each Vietnamese has a motorcycle for different occasions, one for work, another to go out for a walk and impress the girl and so on... as well as different helmets to combine according to the outfits.

This was my second time in Vietnam, I still couldn't see what was in front of the hotel. Maybe the third time is the charm. And find another ending. But, for now, I am in love with the blocks that I was able to see in the city.


Look at the stories of how I dared to cross a small street in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, on my Instagram @julieta.patagonia


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