Reflections and stories on six months of life, culture, food and friendship in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Honda Wave Alpha

Just a quick entry to mark the occasion: I now have my very own moto, a red Honda Wave Alpha!

Every Friday for the last month I have been telling people my plans for the weekend included getting off my ass and renting a moto. Another weekend just passed with no moto to show. Today (Monday) I went off to work only to discover that there was no power in the burbs. At about 11am, Stephen and I ran out of work of the unplugged variety and decided to leave early for the day. On the way home I screwed up enough courage and asked him if he would accompany me to the rental place and hold my hand as I signed the agreement.

I tried to keep thinking up questions to ask to delay the inevitable ride off from the shop. I was convinced I would start up the bike, wave goodbye to the shop and promptly ram into three or four oncoming motos. In fact, it seems the little late night lessons with Viet and others have paid off. Or maybe I've internalized some of the (il)logic of the traffic after months on the back of bikes. In any case, it wasn't so bad. What I don't understand yet is parking.

After a quirky veranda cafe on Lo Su, Stephen kindly accompanied me home. I was a little sheepish turning the corner into my alleyway, for fear of being seen by my xe om driver. Thankfully he wasn't there, but I'm sure the news of my appearance on the front of a motobike has already made it through the local xe om grapevine. The truth is though I am in no way ready for my commute, so tomorrow I still intend to meet Mr. Binh at the same time on the corner at 8:30. Anyway, my front room now looks complete with the shiny bike parked in the middle. Nothing makes a more authentic entrance to a Vietnamese home.

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Anonymous Jon said...

I didn't see any indication that you have purchased a helmet to go along with your moto! Well, I am sure your mom will help you take care of that when she arrives later today!

10:48 AM


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