Friday, 10 August 2007
I was going to talk about the traffic. Visitors to Saigon are always surprised by the traffic, in its numbers, its diverse forms and its indiscipline. I know I used to get in the most foul tempers at times so I can't say I was immune. When visiting the doctor when I came up from the provinces he always found my blood pressure up as a result of trying to find his office. Once he gave me some valium. I drove down the Bien Hoa highway on a cloud with not a care in the world, and that stretch of highway about twenty miles long was the most dangerous bit of road I've ever come across in my life. The rest of the journey was equally beautiful. Perhaps he should have told me not to take the valium before I drove back.
A limited amount of beer was always useful but never a hangover. If one began to drive in Saigon with a bad head and nerves the traffic was unbearable. I didn't have air conditioning but it would have been a godsend. Although there was one fellow who evidently had his air conditioning on and was listening to some music, didn't hear a police summons to stop and was shot dead.