A different kind of travelogue. As an avid young traveller I often wondered what would it would be like when I got older, gathered commitments, created children and accrued debt. This is what it's like.
It rains in Vietnam. It properly rains. We missed the serious wet but we still caught some brilliant downpours. Kids loved it. I loved it. Its like the world going through a car wash. the dirt and grime and dust just washed away in seconds. The fact that this dirt and grime and specifically plastic rubbish all ends up in the drains which lead to the rivers is another matter.
We were in Dalat April/May and the afternoon rains were cleansing and of course cooling.
You’d think this might be a bit of a problem in a place that moves everything by motorbike. I mean everything. The Vietnamese skills of motorbike freight cannot be underestimated. My favourites have been a fridge (a full size 6 foot tall fridge) and a cow. I was not happy about the cow being dead. I was amazed about the two people on the bike with the cow not being dead. I would have at least seriously injured myself in the process of loading said cow onto said transport.
Had I the time I would really enjoy setting myself up to capture a “bike-load” of these images. It would be so easy to do well. Head to any early morning market or any area where a particular product is traded; steel, glass, livestock, vegetables et cetera. Find an appropriate framing background. Figure out the light requirements and get your tripod out. And wait for the bikes to come to you. Chances are there will be someone selling coffee or better right beside you.
Someone has already done it of course. I’d heard of the book “Bikes of burden” by Hans Kemp before. There are now a bunch of others. I don’t know which came first. It doesn’t matter.
I am travelling with two kids. Getting across the road alive is known to be an art here. I find getting down the “side-walk” just as hard. Crossing the road is a challenge because there are so many bikes and they never stop. There are almost no pedestrian crossings and if there is one people don’t stop anyway. Getting down a side walk is often harder because there are gaps between the moving motorcycles but there are no gaps between the parked motorcycles that completely block the path and thus you are back out on the road.
Then there’s the noise.
Needless to say I don’t get to sit around and wait for a nice subject. I don’t have time to use a proper camera and I don’t have the spare limbs to carry one.
What I do have is a phone. And when its pissing down out of the heavens and your stuck in a doorway with two kids then you have a little time.