Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hanoi Traffic, postlogue

I think I have a blood pressure problem related to Hanoi.

I don't think I had it before in Hanoi, and now that I'm gone, it seems to be slowly fading.

It's the honking. It's not distant and quaint sounding, like in Paris or even with a rougher edge like in New York. It's like the shrillest person you've ever met screaming in your ear.

It makes my heart jump when it is a certain distance from me. It hurts my ears and head. It startles me. And like pavlov, I have a response. Adrenaline. This does not make me nice.

I've found a way to cope though. If someone pulls right up on my tail and honks I just don't get out of the way. They honk a lot more, but my adrenaline is satisfied by returning my frustration (vengeance is mine, apparently, thus saith Ron).

I have another coping mechanism, although I only save this for when I've really hit the wall. When people pull up next to me or come at me facing me and do it and scare the crud out of me, I do it back.

You might wonder how I do that? Do I carry an airhorn? Well, one of sorts. I can make loud, gutteral and shrill noises right in someone's face with my vocal chords. It's very clear how I'm feeling and it releases a lot of frustration, without actually causing anyone pain (sans my garlic breath).

So, we can all be thankful for my character development (and the preservation of my vocal chords and endocrine system) that I got out of Hanoi!

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