To be in traffic in Hanoi is to be a liquid — a drop of water in an endless current, sluicing from one intersection to the next, your position and shape ever changing depending on the surroundings, like beads of humidity on the inside of a windscreen. There’s something almost balletic about it, if you can imagine one on a stage that is too small and crammed with far too many dancers. To the uncharitable it is a chaotic mess, a cacophony of idle motors, abrupt braking and endless, endlessbeeping. But to a willing participant it can be seen as something else: a surprisingly coordinated and cooperative act of organic movement, capable of moments of selflessness, patience, and a strange, haphazard beauty.
An essay I wrote about traffic in Hanoi and its potential to be viewed as a microcosm of Vietnamese society as a whole is now up at The Bygone Bureau.
You can read the rest of the essay here: http://bygonebureau.com/2013/03/27/uneasy-rider/