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Flower and chickens and sofas – oh my!
December 3rd, 2009 by Kate
Typical view from our taxi window

Typical view from our taxi window

People in Vietnam make do with what they have.  Moving across town and you and your buddy only have scooters?  Move the furniture with your scooters of course!  Need to bring the kids to school and get to work?  Five on a bike and you’re there – no fossil fuel needed!  Marvels of  cycle engineering happen here every few seconds on the streets of Hanoi and HCMC.  It is awesome!  The best way for me to describe it is though photos, but of course, the BEST photo is always the one you missed.  So here are a few to give you a little taste, the others will just have to remain funny snapshots in our minds…

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE!

Moving day... we also saw other family members with a diningroom table, 6 chairs (yes, on one bike), a file cabinet, and mattresses piled 3-high balanced between 2 bikes.

Moving day... we also saw other family members with a diningroom table, 6 chairs (yes, on one bike), a file cabinet, and mattresses piled 3-high balanced between 2 bikes.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there are easily 500 cycles and motorbikes for every one car.  Yes, it looks like utter chaos from the safe-ish sidewalk, but here in Vietnam there is at least a passing acknowledgment of the rules-of-the-road (unlike China, where traffic laws are optional).  It looks totally impossible to cross the street with all the whirring bikes, but as we were instructed by new friends and other travelers – all you need to do is step off the curb and “JUST KEEP SWIMMING” and the bikes will part around you.  And it totally works!  Its like parting the Red Sea!!!

Bundles

Bundles

Plywood. We also saw 10 bags on concrete, 20 foot long pieces of PVC pipe and rebar, bricks, and shingles.

Plywood. We also saw 10 bags on concrete, 20 foot long pieces of PVC pipe and rebar, bricks, and shingles.

Coconuts

Coconuts

Chicken coop on wheels - there were about 100 live chickens stuffed into these coops before she unloaded them at the market!  Guess the song birds on top just out for a stroll!

Chicken coop on wheels - there were about 100 live chickens stuffed into these coops before she unloaded them at the market! Guess the song birds on top just out for a stroll!

Baby with Baguette - look mom, no hands!

Baby with Baguette - look mom, no hands!

Fish traps - there are about 300 traps on this bike!

Fish traps - there are about 300 traps on this bike!

While it seems impressive (and perilous) to have a family of four to be riding this scooter, it was not uncommon at all to see a family of five - SIX was the record... one adult and five kids- AHHHHH!

While it seems impressive (and perilous) to have a family of four to be riding this scooter, it was not uncommon at all to see a family of five - SIX was the record... one adult and five kids- AHHHHH!

She was delivering salad greens to the restaurant we were eating at!

She was delivering salad greens to the restaurant we were eating at!

More restaurant supplies - maybe he's on his way back from Smart & Final?

More restaurant supplies - maybe he's on his way back from Smart & Final?

What?  Only 3 chickens in the basket - these must be the lucky chickens!

What? Only 3 chickens in the basket - these must be the lucky chickens!

water bottles

Fake flowers

Fake flowers

My personal favorite - warm baguettes - I bought 4 for 50 cents!

My personal favorite - warm baguettes - I bought 4 for 50 cents!


14 Responses  
Cricket Bourget writes:
December 3rd, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Now those are GREAT pics and it’s a tough vote, but I gotta say, the coconut guy. The three in the front basket just tickled me.

M.M.B.CO. or Maggie B writes:
December 3rd, 2009 at 9:38 pm

The flowers, definitely, it just looks so pretty, just like Tessa’s postcard. I always wanted a Moped, but an awesome bike would do. Man though, one hundred chickens, that must be a great exercise!

Miranda writes:
December 4th, 2009 at 10:45 am

Bundles! Definately Bundles!

Auntie Liv writes:
December 5th, 2009 at 10:19 am

Claudia and I are laughing our asses off. We like the fish traps. Very impressive

Lisa (VSA CMOP) writes:
December 5th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Wow! What an a great adventure you and your family are having. The memories of all of the great things and places that you have seen or experienced will remain with you always. It is so wonderful that you and a family can experience this together. By the way…My vote is for the fish traps. Talk about balance.

Lisa Barrett writes:
December 6th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

The fish traps get my vote! That is fantastic.

Jennifer Prescott writes:
December 6th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

So many great pictures here! I love the fake flowers one — not the most impressive load, but love it nonetheless. Oh, and I don’t think the 3 chickens in the basket look all that lucky.

laura davis writes:
December 7th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

gotta give it to the coconuts. how amazing to see all those things heading down the road. But after reading about Tessa’s tea not sure I’d be drinking anything except bottled water. miss you tons!

Tiffany Scharn writes:
December 8th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Three way tie between the coconut bundles, fish traps & flowers. CLASSIC pictures!

Becky Lieberman writes:
December 8th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I’m really torn between little guy with baguette and fake flowers!

Auntie Krissy writes:
December 8th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Songbirds not likely out for a stroll! I reckon they were part of a unidentifiable meal or two!
I vote for coconuts, the only thing missing from that shot is poor little Tessa overheated on our coconut/golf cart mission!!!! LMAO!

Chad Schneider writes:
December 9th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I think you know my vote… the CHICKEN COUP on 2 wheels, Woot woot!

Marion Wiener writes:
December 15th, 2009 at 11:34 am

I AM LOSING KATIE!!!!!! She’s going back to school to get her Masters in Education and her teachers certification. PRAY FOR ME! :(

Anita (Nana) writes:
December 15th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Must say the plywood configuration. Only because my friend Dottie had sent photo’s of bike’s in work before yours. It would be a equal winning of shots. Great!

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