Monday, June 11, 2012

when it rains, the saigonese shine

One of the most important lessons I have learned while living in Vietnam is that when it looks like it is going to rain, it will. So if you are thinking about whether or not you should take your umbrella or raincoat, you should. Otherwise you will find yourself experiencing a series of unfortunate events. It doesn't ever just rain here. It only torrentially downpours. Unlike myself who is always extremely unprepared and can often be found hovering under a motorbike repairman's umbrella, the entire culture of Saigon has evolved to deal with the rain. As soon as one microscopic raindrop is felt, the entire line of traffic stops, pulls over, and takes out their state-of-the-art perfectly-adapted-to-motorbike-riding raincoats.

I have been DYING to get some pictures of this, but I either never have my camera or it is raining too hard anyways to take photos. So when a 7AM rainstorm awoke me, I was thrilled to be able to get some photos from my window. Although not the best angles, they are still a hoot.

Most people drape the entire poncho over the front of the bike to keep their hands from getting wet. How the flaps of the poncho don't get caught is beyond me. Some ponchos even have little clear plastic squares to allow the headlight to shine through.

If you are a passenger on the motorbike when the rains begin and you forgot your poncho, you have several alternatives to choose from. I often go for the "dodge-and-seek-cover" method in which you simply crouch and hide under the back end of the driver's poncho. It is about 80% effective.

"dodge-and-seek-cover" method -- bottom left

"dodge-and-seek-cover method" -- bottom right
However, you do have to make sure your driver knows where you are going. This requires you to pop your head out every once in awhile.

Now these people SERIOUSLY have it together. They have the double-headed poncho AND the little plastic hole for the headlight. If I were them, I would certainly be laughing at all the suckers around me.

Who says you can't look good on a motorbike in the rain? Here we have this little lady cruising along on her BURBERRY motorbike.

điệu quá!
 The rain stops no one from carrying on with their daily lives. The show must go on. Here we have a man taking lord-knows-what to lord-knows-where. But nonetheless, he is going to get it there without even a bat of the eye despite the monsoon going on around him.

Never despair. If you are one of the poor, unfortunate souls who forgot their ponchos, you can always locate one of the trusty rain-poncho sales ladies.

It's hard for me to think of a city with more charm. 


  1. Really nice post! Reading your blog makes me love Sài Gòn more than ever~

  2. This is amazing , content of this blog is great.Your blog has cleared my doubt about Rain Poncho Australia.We also provide outfits visite our site for hire us.