Scooter Hanoi-Style

My memories of Vietnam are infused with the sight, sound, and smell of hundreds of scooters. Hundreds. Thousands even. Because owning a scooter is very much a part of being Vietnamese.

If they haven’t one already, most teenagers will expect to receive a scooter for their sixteenth birthday. It┬ásignifies independence, freedom; and, for the wealthy who can afford the expensive Italian brands, it acts as status symbol.

The daily vision of scooters swollen with entire families, their goods and pets, belies the fact that it is illegal to carry more than two people at any one time.

The rule of the road? As a friend succinctly put it – “to ride a scooter in Vietnam is to have tunnel vision, you only need to look ahead”.