Vietnamization: The lure of the green paddy fields

I have gone mad recently, absolutely raving mad. And its all because of 'Nam.

Its being a month since I returned from Vietnam, some of my vocabulary had changed. For example, a baguette is now called Bahn Mi. Asking for the bill is now called Dim Tien. Thank you is now called Kwang Un.The list goes on. 

Am I in love with the place, not really.  It is a wonderful, amazing country. But the climate is terrible. Fight a war there? No thanks, You can have the country. 

The trouble is with the green paddy fields. No, the roads next to the green paddy fields. No, the method of conveyance on those roads near to the green paddy fields. 

The trouble is that the Running Robot has became a biker. A bloody ruddy biker. All thanks to 'Nam.

Flashback to Hoi An on 4 May 2013, 10am, at a traditional barber opposite the Vaia Hotel. 

"Uncle, you know where I can rent motorbikes? "

"Have, have, my friend rent. I bring you."

15 min later. I was having motorbike lessons along the side road named Ba Hyuen Thanh Quan. The rental lady keeping a close eye on my handling. The bike, a new black Yamaha Nouvo.4 Stroke, SOHC One cylinder, 135cc, automatic. 
Satisfied,  the rental lady give a final instruction,  "minimum 30km/h. Go 30 -40km/h. Me 40 -50km/h. Slow dangerous. "

I nodded. 2 litres of petrol pumped into the bike and I was let loose. 

Pressed the electric starter,  a throaty cough from the engine and I eased the bike along Ba Hyuen Thanh Quan a few more rounds, just like flying the Cessna in the pattern. The rental lady continued her watchful eyes.  

Gathered my wits, a wave to the rental lady and I was ready for my solo. I turned out of Ba Hyuen Thanh Quan and eased into the traffic on Ly Thuong Kiet and headed east. 

Green paddy fields lined Ly Thuong Kiet and the smell of freshly cut crops permeated my nose. The wind rushes against me. The turbine whine of the cvt transmission,  the offbeat vibration of the single cylinder motor. The settling of the suspension as the bike glided along the road. The slight trembling of the handlebars giving feedback on the tarmac. 40km/h on the speedo and I let out a loud "Woo Hoo!!"

I am in love. Truely, madly, deeply...


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