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The Elements of Typographic Style

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Entries in traffic (3)


No Cars/Cars?

The sign outside my hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi might suggest that vehicular traffic is prohibited, i.e. only pedestrians and maybe scooters allowed. After walking the length of the street, I know there is a similar sign, facing the other way, at the other end. But this street (Hang Bac) is always clogged with traffic. Maybe the sign means no cars, but buses (shown above) are allowed? Or maybe the sign is positioned so far from the corner that no one can see it? Or, perhaps as is true with many things in Vietnam, the sign is just a suggestion.


Hang Be Street

Took a stroll down Hang Be Street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi this morning. One of the most interesting parts of this city is simply trying to cross the street (near miss at 0:54). The large street shown at the end of the clip is Dinh Tien Hoang which goes around the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake (see Lake Hoan Kiem). [NOTE: Music by El Ten Eleven].


Gridlock on Highway 1A

Heading north on Highway 1A, we got trapped in a huge traffic jam.  About 40 km outside of Hanoi, the traffic slowed down to a crawl - and then stopped completely. Several drivers noticed that the three lanes on the other side of the highway, i.e. the southbound lanes, were open and started crossing over the divider to get around the congestion. Our driver did the same.  A stampede ensued. This strategy, of course, only works until you encounter the traffic coming from the other direction. Which happened quite quickly (see above).  Six lanes of traffic heading south encounter six lanes of traffic heading north.  With no way to back up.  Things started to pile up pretty fast.

Our driver saw this happening and drove through a field to get off the highway.  We took the back roads through a bunch of small villages (the scenic route) to get to Hanoi.  We heard on the radio as we were arriving that the traffic on Highway 1A was still backed up 20 kilometers in each direction. [NOTE: Before bailing out of this mess, I noticed that one of the gridlocked cars was decorated with flowers and streamers and that there was a young woman in a wedding dress sitting in the back seat. Sigh].