Ladylike on a bike – Ms. Saigon, Vietnam
Short posting today, as I prepare to embark on my first ever family vacation! Will write more on that after we complete the journey
and not kill each other.
My first week working in Saigon has been quite amazing to say the least. Compared to my previous experience in Vietnam, it was refreshing to be welcomed into a country. To have people be so friendly and helpful. They are cheerful, smiling always, and within the first week I’ve already been invited for drinks, welcomed to join a girlish group for meals, and invited to go on trips together around Vietnam.
Only in this instance could I relax and open up my mind a bit more to appreciate this beautiful city.
I have to take a taxi to work every day (btw, only take Vinasun or Mai Linh taxis, Saigon Air and Saigon Tourist are not too bad as well). And in my daily travels always stare out the window to take in (and to try and understand) the daily life of locals. Its like being in a reverse fishbowl. Motorcycle traffic is a way of life here, and the city can be very dusty, yet the people do take pride in how they look and dress, and since they’re always on a motorcycle, every day, every trip on the road is like watching a live fashion show for me (on a highway runway).
One of the interesting things I noticed about the ladies here is that they wear these long skirts that cover 90% of their legs whilst still giving them enough autonomy to move their legs (for braking). Think of it as almost a long apron that covers preserves their modesty, especially in short dresses that tend to hike up. Its a smart solution, wear whatever you want, then throw on the long skirt to make sure you don’t accidentally flash anyone. Then when you arrive at your destination, take them off. They also come in a myriad of fun colors and patterns, perhaps adding to the different layers of your style. I only wish I had something similar, though probably need something more autonomous to survive the Dutch rain while cycling.
Given the smog, and the dust, most Vietnamese motorcyclist also wear a face mask while they’re riding. Are you imagining those medical ones that you wear when you have a flu and all? Nope. These are just as fun, with polka dots, and colors and patterns! perhaps to match your outfit of the day.