Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dance

It may seem like mass chaos at first, but you soon learn that being on the vibrant and bustling streets of Saigon is taking part of a performance, a song and dance of the city's people coming and going. The soothing hum of motorbikes plays in the background while honks and beeps provide an ever changing beat. This is the music for a beautiful dance, of motorbikes, cars, bicycles, and buses whizzing and weaving amongst each other. Nothing is choreographed, which is the most impressive part about witnessing this performance. Individuals play their own tunes and take their own paths, but they do so together on one stage, and thus create a living and breathing piece of art, a dazzling show of people on the move.

This is how we spent our day, taking part in the performance, soaking up Saigon's sights and sounds on the back of a motorbike. It was fun and quite an adventure, and I'm still blown away by how they do it--how the riders and drivers are able to manage such small spaces, how they can get so close without ever touching, how they plunge straight into traffic without fear, how they make it all seem effortless, seem like a choreographed dance. It is a thing of beauty, what they do, but I must admit that two words sum up what I thought and said to myself most of the day..."HOLY SHIT!" So many times, it seemed like we were going to bump into the person next to us or crash head on with the person in front of us. Of course nothing ever happened, and I was left again and again, laughing about the thrilling close ecounters.

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