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Dealing with anger in VN
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cb400 wrote:
Driving a car here was an eye opener and a large percentage of the population just don't seem to think or give a shit. Motorbikes would race up beside you on the right only to cut in front of you turning left at the last second inches in front of your bumper? Why not just go behind and have less risk? Not only is it dangerous for them, it impedes traffic as you need to slam the brakes to avoid them!

To be fair, I have limited sympathy with car drivers. In my experience, most bottlenecks are caused by car drivers who think they're too important to stay in the car lane, so move over into the bike lane. Or the buses who use the fact that they have to go into the bike lane to pick up passengers to then drive the whole rest of their route in that lane aggressively honking at people who are in their way (i.e. people in the correct lane). Meanwhile, a huge group of bikes is now stuck behind them, and this naturally causes people to become impatient and do stupid things. This is particularly an issue at rush hour, because the middle lane is officially a mixed lane, but in reality it becomes a lane of bumper to bumper cars that won't let a single motorbike in. So when you get to the inevitable car parked in the motorbike lane, you're then faced with a wall of cars on your left who'll do anything to avoid letting you in and a massive backlog of bikes. And given that most of these cars are carrying a single passenger, there's absolutely no reason to give them any more road space than a single motorbike is afforded. Personally, I'd limit them to the outside lane, so that when they park next to the pavement, there's still space for the motorbikes to go through.

But in principle, it's just bad city planning (or in reality, no city planning for the sort of traffic we have today). If you mix bikes, motorbikes, cars and buses all on the same road, you're obviously going to get conflict. In Vietnam, they go one step further and put motorbikes on the pavements too, meaning that people are walking on the road. Thankfully, they seem to be addressing that somewhat on the new build roads in Saigon, with clear dividers between the car and motorbike lanes, and bus stops on the dividers, so that buses aren't having to cross the motorbike lanes.

In the centre of the city, there really should be bus lanes. Not only would it be safer, but it's make buses a far better option. Currently, the only reason to get a bus is that you can't afford or can't drive a motorbike, because you spend your whole trip stuck in traffic. If you could guarantee an exclusive lane for them, then they'd become a far more attractive option for a lot of people (especially if that space was taken from the cars that currently enjoy it). It won't happen though, because the people who make the decisions aren't the people that ride the buses, they're the people who drive the cars that they've miraculously been able to afford on their meagre government salary.

This is a great talk about how a large number of these problem are caused by city planning.

Ted Talk
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 962
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget it...capitalism will only make things worse for the drivers and riders in Vietnam....it is everyone for himself on the roads.How do you expect to change that mentality. GO BACK TO SOCIALISM...THE ONLY CURE TO VIETNAM AND ITS HORRIFIC ROAD TRANSPORT PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 365

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with anger in VN Reply with quote

cb400 wrote:
now have to deal with the idiots who drive on the side walk and have the nerve to honk like crazy if you are impeding their way.


Wow ... sidewalks? You guys actually have sidewalks? Gee ... I wanna live in a "developed country" someday. Razz

Seriously, if you want to feel better about traffic patterns and motorist behavior in HCMC, come to Medan (just a brief skip across the pond) and hang around for a couple of weeks.

To get a SIM (driving license) for a car or motorbike / scooter in Medan, the applicant is merely required to watch the film "Mad Max: The Road Warrior" once or twice, to get the feel of how things are done here, and pay the "expedition fee".

I would be hard pressed to even describe traffic flow patterns in Medan. There are no sidewalks at all in most of the city. What might otherwise pass for a pedestrian easement of sorts is one thousand percent fair game and indeed, the natural domain of motor traffic overflow whenever the main road is even slightly held up (as it is much of the time).

Angkot (public minibus) drivers, most of whom are absolute nutters here, have absolutely no compunction about swerving across all "lanes" of traffic (there are really no such animals as "lanes" here) at a moment's notice to pick up or drop off a passenger, buy a smoke from a vendor, etc.

While technically a road consists of one or two lanes of traffic for each direction, with the exception of the few divided roads it works like this: whichever direction of traffic flow is heavier takes over the opposite lane as a passing lane. If you happen to be someone actually using that opposite lane to travel in the technically appropriate direction, don't think it gives you any special "rights" to this part of the road.

Meanwhile, because of the fact that right turns at intersections are basically not permitted here, there are ALWAYS motorbikes, motor becak or bicycles and occasionally even cars, traveling in the WRONG direction / side of the road - against the traffic - (traveling North in the left-most - or for them, the right-most - part of the Southbound part of the road) for short distances, to avoid having to cross the road to get on the proper side, then find a way to get back on the side they want to be on, etc (and, since I live here, I do the same thing everyone else does), so basically they (West-going Zaks) are coming at you on both sides, in what is supposed to be YOUR (East-going Zak's) part of the road. The allusion to "the road warrior" is hardly much of an exaggeration, you can either take my word for it or come and see for yourself.

Laughing

HCMC traffic? From what I saw in my few days there ... get over it. Looked pretty civilized to me.
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mysterytrain



Joined: 23 Mar 2014
Posts: 365

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Forget it...capitalism will only make things worse for the drivers and riders in Vietnam....it is everyone for himself on the roads.How do you expect to change that mentality. GO BACK TO SOCIALISM...THE ONLY CURE TO VIETNAM AND ITS HORRIFIC ROAD TRANSPORT PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked

These posts are SHOCKINGLY REPETITIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 274
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Forget it...capitalism will only make things worse for the drivers and riders in Vietnam....it is everyone for himself on the roads.How do you expect to change that mentality. GO BACK TO SOCIALISM...THE ONLY CURE TO VIETNAM AND ITS HORRIFIC ROAD TRANSPORT PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked


Enough of this shit. I have reported you to the mods. Now you are just spamming the board with the same BS.
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 274
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CITY DIARY

Decoding Vietnam’s road culture through David Beckham’s picture

HANOI – I first learned that football great David Beckham visited Vietnam from the Facebook post of a Vietnamese American friend. A post on Beckham’s official FB page has sparked a bit of controversy for its depiction of modern Vietnamese society.

A depiction that is utterly accurate.

Beck’s site sports a photo of a woman using a camera phone to take a snapshot of the international celebrity as she sits on her motor scooter. She is not wearing a helmet as required by law and, worse, is holding an infant between her knees.

“I’m all for fans taking a picture but not sure this is the safest way to do it!” Beckham wrote.

It’s hard to believe that such a sight would shock anyone who has been in Vietnam for more than a few days. But it’s easy to see why some Vietnamese find the image embarrassing, as some expressed among the thousands of comments prompted by the post.

“This is an ugly face of Vietnam,” said Van Deng Yeu, according to one news report.

“A baby in her lap? That’s crazy,” declared one Minh Anh.

Crazy, perhaps, but also very Vietnamese.

Yes, the Beckham fan was flouting the law – but don’t very many Vietnamese do this on a daily basis? Helmet laws are often ignored, as are laws restricting the use of handheld devices. Small children are routinely carried on motorbikes without helmets or, it seems, other safety precautions. Only the blind don’t see this.

For foreigners visiting Vietnam, the crazy traffic offers the first dose of culture shock. My first weekend, my son and I were surprised by a rush-hour herd of motorbikes that crowded up behind us – on a sidewalk. Foreigners gawk and drop their jaws at the sight of motorbikes piled with cargo that is often odd – beehives, bags of tropical fish, flat screen TVs – and/or seems unwieldy. But it’s the sight of families squeezed onto a motorbike – four and even five butts on a long seat, plus a baby in mommy’s arms – that provokes moral outrage. Foreigners can be aghast: Don’t the Vietnamese care about the children? Aren’t there any child endangerment laws?

After a few weeks in Vietnam, my standard quip to visiting Americans is to expect on any given day to see about 30 or 40 instances of behavior that, back home, would be a violation of our (overprotective) child safety laws. But as someone who often uses my old Nuovo to carry the kids, I also know some outrage is misplaced.

My experience is that parents carrying children on motorbikes are typically among the safest drivers on the road. They rarely hurry and navigate carefully because they know the cargo is precious. (Of course there are exceptions: I was appalled by the young man who held an infant in his lap with his left hand, while navigating with the right at a dangerous speed.) When I’m out on the road, my larger concerns are car and truck drivers who act as if they owned the road, giddy teenagers who are fast and reckless, and the many motorists who are dialing or texting as they drive. Twice in recent days I had to swerve to avoid such motorists who weren’t paying attention to the road.

Mobile phones have become a deadly menace to drivers in much of the world. The consequences of becoming distracted driving a ton of metal can be much greater than the typical distracted motorcyclist in Vietnam.

But as Vietnam’s growing economy inspires more Vietnamese to buy sedans and SUVs, I fear that this could become a great problem in Vietnam. I, for one, am very reluctant to drive a car in Vietnam. “It’s nerve-wracking,” a friend once told me. “The other day I nearly killed a kid.”

So if somebody offers me the keys to a car, I say thanks but no thanks. Maybe someday Vietnam’s motoring culture will be safer, but not yet.

The news article that reported Beckham’s Facebook post included this sobering detail: About 14,000 people lose their lives every year in Vietnam due to traffic accidents. I have a hunch it will get worse before it gets better.
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 744

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cb400 wrote:


The news article that reported Beckham’s Facebook post included this sobering detail: About 14,000 people lose their lives every year in Vietnam due to traffic accidents. I have a hunch it will get worse before it gets better.


And of course that statistic is not accurate. On any given trip across town, I encourage you to count the number of traffic violations you see. I'm usually well over 50 by the time I get to my destination.

I see at least 1 accident or aftermath of an accident every day. EVERY DAY! Every Vietnamese person I've every talked to has either had someone they know die in a traffic accident or been in one themselves.

14,000 a year is way under the mark.
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cb400



Joined: 27 Sep 2010
Posts: 274
Location: Vientiane, Laos

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
cb400 wrote:


The news article that reported Beckham’s Facebook post included this sobering detail: About 14,000 people lose their lives every year in Vietnam due to traffic accidents. I have a hunch it will get worse before it gets better.


And of course that statistic is not accurate. On any given trip across town, I encourage you to count the number of traffic violations you see. I'm usually well over 50 by the time I get to my destination.

I see at least 1 accident or aftermath of an accident every day. EVERY DAY! Every Vietnamese person I've every talked to has either had someone they know die in a traffic accident or been in one themselves.

14,000 a year is way under the mark.


I agree with you completely. I copied the article from an English VN newspapers, I should have quoted the source.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 340
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHO estimated 21651 in 2010. If it's an estimate the one at the end does seem a bit odd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

According to the source of all knowledge Wink Vietnam is 23rd world wide in per capita traffic fatalities (24.7/100,000) Most of the countries that are worse are in Africa but Thailand is #4. Singapore, know for zealous law enforcement is 5.1, comparable to most European countries.

Keep in mind that no problem in this country gets solved unless the Party sees it as a problem. If they moved police personnel from what I would call status crimes like residency controls and put them in the streets, there would be fewer fatalities. Add to that a ticketing system and even vehicle impoundment instead of cash bribes. None of these things is going to even begin to get better until the powers that be consider it important.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 340
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Could this be the reason for traffic problems? Reply with quote

"The University of Grenoble researchers found that men with higher testosterone levels (as tested by their saliva) [both] indicated a greater preference for hot sauce...........Previous research has linked high testosterone levels with a heightened sex drive, a preference for the color red and risky behavior."

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/manly-men-like-spicy-food_n_6347808.html

I can't attest to Viet male sex drive but the preference for red and risky behavior seem familiar. The article fails to speculate on cause or effect but could our traffic problems be the result of too many chillies? Rolling Eyes
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hobo6



Joined: 16 Aug 2013
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to Bien Hoa, which is just outside of HCMC. Great town of 700,000 that nobody knows about. You won't see more than 2 foreigners there (should you even find them) and the locals love you automatically because they never see Whitey. I taught there in a language school the first time, when I couldn't get a job in HCMC with any hours, and then returned again (tho not with the same results).
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2229
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hobo6 wrote:
Go to Bien Hoa, which is just outside of HCMC. Great town of 700,000 that nobody knows about. You won't see more than 2 foreigners there (should you even find them) and the locals love you automatically because they never see Whitey. I taught there in a language school the first time, when I couldn't get a job in HCMC with any hours, and then returned again (tho not with the same results).


HAHAHAHA!!!

Laughing

99% of foreigners HATE Bien Hoa!

Everything closes by 6pm, the streets are deserted by 8pm.

Sure, the people are friendly, but they are just as nice if you ever leave Dist. 1 in HCMC, but most folks love to waste money on over-priced crap food in D-1 Rolling Eyes
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2229
Location: Dang Cong San Viet Nam Quang Vinh Muon Nam!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Forget it...capitalism will only make things worse for the drivers and riders in Vietnam....it is everyone for himself on the roads.How do you expect to change that mentality. GO BACK TO SOCIALISM...THE ONLY CURE TO VIETNAM AND ITS HORRIFIC ROAD TRANSPORT PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked


I do wish and hope Vietnam would return to following a true path to communism by following the socialist model.
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hobo6



Joined: 16 Aug 2013
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

99% of foreigners HATE Bien Hoa!

That's strange. I never saw 99% of foreigners in Bien Hoa. Apparently I'm a dumbass who doesn't know anything even with a good amount of time living there.

Thank you for insulting me. I thought this forum was for everyone.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 340
Location: Hawaii

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he means that you are the 1% and the reason you never saw the 99% is that they didn't stay. Fortunately, you are teaching English and not Math.

Personally, I would probably fine with Bien Hoa. It seems similar to Thu Duc, naturally, and foreigners there either love it or hate it too.
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