I haven't been in Saigon one day yet and I already know the one word that would sum it up. Scooters. It's like everything here is a scooter. I see people doing everything possible with them, from selling corn to hauling TV's 4 at a time. It's actually really really awesome, the dynamic of traffic with so many of these things. Everything looks so chaotic at first but as you experience it you find the order and it's remarkable. For instance, you'd think it would not be possible to cross a street where there are no stop signs and no cross-walks with like 100 scooters coming by every minute, but it's not true. You just cross the street. You do it slowly and calculated, and everything just flows around you.
The rest of this city that I've seen so far is amazing too, in some good ways and some bad ways that add up to awesome.
The architecture here is fantastic, I haven't seen one building that isn't interesting in some way.
There's this river that flows around here, more like a canal, and it's black as crude oil and smells like death with trash floating on the top and people actually fish in it.
There are chickens walking around outside of restaurants where they serve chicken.
Most of the people here have figures that americans would pay personal trainers big bucks to get.
I saw two girls sharing a bicycle eating ice cream. The one in front had her right foot on the right pedal and her left foot on the neck of the frame. The girl in back had her left foot on the left pedal and her right foot on the rear fork.
I saw a whole family on a single scooter passing us in heavy traffic at like 25km/h, something that is a bit frightening, but then you see these same people taking their kids to the amusement park to put them on a kiddie train that goes like 4km/h and call it entertainment.
They have these scooter repair shops where you ride up and let somebody fix your scooter while you sit back drink and smoke cigarettes.
People's houses don't have garages, they just have entry ways with double-doors where you ride your scooter straight into the house and park it there, inside the house.
Almost every shop on the street just has a wide open front, no front wall, and you ride your scooter right up to the front, park and walk in.
They have three-wheeled motor trikes with cargo areas in the front.
There are a million shops just selling scrap metal. You see people outside welding stuff together or running spools of metal through machines that straighten them out into rebar.
They have showers where there is no separate shower stall, you just shower on the tile floor of the bathroom and the water washes off to a corner drain, which I think is awesome.
Unfortunately I still haven't found any plugs that work with my laptop and haven't found a converter, so I don't have photos to post just now, but will soon.