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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cyclo......You want ride?

Cyclos are a dying breed in Vietnam much like the Lambrettas of the 60's and 70's. I asked our guides what happened to all the "xe lams" that were in Vietnam, there were hundreds of thousands at one time. He told me they were Italian and that they couldn't get parts for them anymore. I saw a few on my recent travels when I visited Quy Nhon. They all seemed to be painted this awful deep royal blue. We used to ride them into town when I was stationed in Pleiku and when we had too much to drink we would goad our drivers into racing and we'd jump from lambretta to lambretta like we were chariot racers in the coloseum....we were young and quite stupid and had little regard for ours or anyones else's saftey. Older and wiser now I probably wouldn't venture a ride in one of those contraptions, part scooter part van or apple cart and away you go.......smelling the terrible exhaust and swallowing road dust all the way to your destination....which most times was a bar or house of ill repute for an afternoons leisure.

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