Monday, April 27, 2009


Earlier the traffic was nuts. Well, it's always nuts, but this was the worst I've ever seen six o'clock traffic get: backed up from the light at Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai and Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa Streets--for as far as I could see from our front door. When traffic halts on these roads it's incredible. Scooters just pack so amazingly densely, thousands of colorful helmets wedged into everyplace, including sidewalks. Of course, we'd already asked the man to hail us a taxi, so he was out there trying to move heaven and earth to get one over to us. We couldn’t walk through there, anyway. Eventually, a cab turned down the one-way road beside our building, so we were irritated about having to catch a metered ride in the wrong direction. Dinner, when we finally got there, was nice. Afterward, we decided to even the score by walking home, allowing us the illusion we'd gotten our money's worth for a round-trip ticket. It had rained in the meantime, and was breezy. One of Reunification Palace's sidewalk trees had blown across the road. Several men were breaking it apart with their hands, headlights streaming around them. Hopeless. The trunk was as round as a plate. No chance this was the earlier obstruction, though, certainly this had happened during the dinner storm. On around the corner onto Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, we came across a burnt-out car laying in the road. Probably a taxi. It was dark by then, and all that ash camouflaged everything until we were much too close. The doors and hood gaped, the rear fender and tank were scattered pieces across the road. It was a spooky thing, hard to see, wrong. How long did it sit there? The rest of the night felt weird. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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