Existing Member?

Same Same But Different

A monsoon melodrama

VIETNAM | Monday, 20 July 2009 | Views [576] | Comments [1]

Today I left my students apartment at 6pm to find that it had started raining while I was inside. Luckily I had pre-empted this and parked my bike under cover. Unfortunately, the parking attendants were up to their old tricks and had moved my bike into the rain. In doing so they had also knocked my helmet and by the time I arrive it was full to the brim with dirty rainwater. Shuddering I slung the damp container on my head and put on my sexy blue poncho.

Out of all the rain gear in the world the half-dollar poncho is probably the least effective. It’s about as useful as a one legged man in an arse kicking competition. The ponchos principal design fault is that as you ride, rainwater collects in the valley created between your legs so that if you move even the slightest big a gushing torrent is released down you legs. The other problem is that they don’t cover your legs so any puddle will splash all the way up your trousers as you drive through it.

By the time I got on the motorway into the city centre it was already half flooded and the rain wasn’t showing any sign of letting up. To make matters I was driving against the wind and slanted rain, which made it painful to open my eyes for fear of being stuck by one of the needle like drops. I had purchased a helmet with a visor to prevent exactly this but after a recent bodged repair job involving a strong adhesive the visor had become thoroughly stuck in an upright position. Effectively I was armed with two pieces of equipment both equally poor at doing their job against a Vietnamese monsoon.

At this point I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and had resorted to laughing hysterically in an effort to forget my uncomfortable predicament. Matters were not made better by the smug business man who overtook me dressed hear to toe in full waterproofs. He had that “I own an Apple macbook and am using it in a coffee shop to my travel blog” smug about him that I am experiencing right now. Being on the receiving end of this smug made me angry and jealous proportions.

What if Apple made ponchos….I began to wonder but then was rudely awoken from my Silicon Valley daydream by some young hooligans who had taken it upon themselves to make everyone’s live a misery by driving through the flooded section of the road sending a wave of filth our way. One of the two bikes had a sleeping passenger on the back so I took it upon myself to follow and honk obnoxiously until he had risen from his adolescent slumber.

It suddenly dawned on me that some people might have been even less equipped then I was for this monsoon madness. I looked around and noticed a schoolgirl who couldn’t have been more then twelve years old cycling an ancient rusty bike into the slanted rain. She didn’t have a poncho and her uniform was soaked through. She wore an expression of pure misery and I momentarily forgot my own discontent. But moments later I moved my leg and unleashed the valley of water that had collected in my poncho – I quickly went back to my self –pity and drove the rest of the way home feeling thoroughly miserable.



you may not believe this but Vietnamese children love to get soaked in the rain.
its childhood when girls are just like boys and they can run like mad(sometimes naked) in the middle of a downpour, shouting and dancing in puddles.
then at a certain age the idea of getting a wet sleeve scares everyone away...

  Xuan Jul 20, 2009 5:10 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About stephen_wright

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries

My trip journals



Travel Answers about Vietnam

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.