Sunday, 22 February 2015

Asian Drivers

Asian Drivers : I have become one :) ! Don't laugh, its not a skill, it is a survival instinct. To survive they stay in the group, that extends to heavy traffic. Pull out into the traffic and don't look back , your part of the group. Most motorcycles do not have mirrors, and very often cars turn there mirrors in and never use them. Why would you use a mirror , your in the group. ? The culture is way to polite to honk there horns, so bad driving is never recognized , unlike western road rage, letting drivers know they did something stupid.
 Left hand turns across several lanes of oncoming traffic are accomplished by slowly driving into oncoming traffic, one lane at a time. The oncoming traffic will swerve around you as long as they can, until eventually it has to stop. If you did look back into a mirror you would see that others have joined your group to make a left across several lanes of traffic you brought to a stop. I could very easily be the first one thru any intersection when a light turns green , but I wait , staying with the group , and never sure how big the group of traffic running the red light is , I avoid being part of any accident.
I find pockets of tourists are scattered around most countries, as they follow there guide books. Forty years later, tourism is still flocking to the genocide sites of Cambodia. Cambodians would love forget this past, and have the rest of the world see the country as it stands today. The architecture , universities, a young, fast growing middle class. I see I-Phones in the hands of those working long days, and everyone seems to have a motorcycle, or scooter.
Unable to fill the demand for construction workers , Thailand uses eager workers from Myanmar who work long days , every day, and put up buildings at incredible speed compared to western standards.
English teaching schools are everywhere , as well as shopping malls that have everything from cosmetic surgeons ,  teeth whitening, skin whitening, shops with the newest electronics, latest fashions, and movies. Students fill coffee shops bringing their I pads to staying connected, while sipping expensive tea... 
I have broken my New Years resolution to stop exercising :) ..Staying at a 4* hotel with a good gym,  I stood on a scale... 170 pounds / 77 kilo's :( down from the 188 pounds when I left Seattle last year. The Asian diet is healthy compared to western , so maybe I will just let weight be what ever it is and just stay focused on putting on some more muscle and getting in the gym more often.

There is still a lot for me to see and visit, but it will have to wait. Vietnam, Bhutan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, East Timor are still on my radar.. but its at least another year and will have to wait until I return from the USA. I miss my bed, rain, cloudy days, friends, and family. I did meet an Australian travelling SE Asia on his motorcycle. he modified a carrier to take his surf board with him . He loved SE Asia, spent a year with his surf board, now headed towards India.  I can see that its going to take some time to properly see these countries...
Chinese New Year ..

Many parks have these open gyms the public uses. In the early evening they are busy, as well as large groups in the parks doing aerobic exercise to loud music. " always groups "  

Country life , farmers homes are kept above seasonal floods waters. It reminded me of parts of Africa where the kids stopped what they were doing at the sound of the motorcycle and came running to see what was going on.

Travel along the Mekong River is common between Vietnam, and Cambodia.

There are small and large temples everywhere. Homes , businesses , all have a temple where daily offerings are placed. I see everything placed in front from a cup of coffee, to cigarettes .

Cambodia hosted an international bicycle race , held at night businesses closed early.

 

2 comments:

  1. I had to laugh when I saw the title of your latest post: you should see the carnage down in Tasmania, with the influx of Asian drivers who stop in the middle of a blind corner to consult maps, or God knows what...! Be safe my friend.

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  2. Hi Dave, Yes learning the local customs is important , and even though there are laws ... the local way of driving in Asian countries is very different to what we know.. I have cruised thru red lights without even looking .. because I was in a group.. Asians may feel safe in the group and maybe why they just pull out into traffic , rather than wait for a clearing ? Hope we meet again soon old man :)

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