Saturday, June 19, 2010

Safety First

I think there is one think that both Celine and I dread most about living in Hanoi and that is the prospect of getting the "phone call". I talked to Celine briefly about meeting for lunch and 15 minutes later I received another call from a girl telling me Celine had been in an accident. It is a heart wrenching feeling. I was reassured at first that Celine was OK but when I talked to her a few minutes later she couldn't remember where she was. What's worse, I didn't really know where she was and she couldn't explain.

Luckily, someone saw the accident and took her back to the school where she worked. I was able to find my way there where Celine was resting. A women was riding very fast when Celine was approaching the end of a lane way, coming right towards her, causing Celine to fall. She hit her head, the impact evident on the white helmet above, and grazed her arm and leg. The helmet was a godsend and it could have been so much worse but we realised quickly we needed better protection. The majority of helmets in Hanoi are terrible. You can buy them on the side of the road from about $2. It is the law to wear them, so there is a market and the Vietnamese generally opt for the cheap option.

We found a company with international accreditation for helmets, exporting globally. We bought two helmets for about $60 which really doesn't break the bank. As far as we know there really aren't much better helmets you can get. For anyone living in Hanoi I strongly recommend investing in a good helmet. They don't cost much and can save you serious harm.

Celine is feeling much better know, that morning still very blurry. She is back on the bike, with her new helmet, taking extra precautions. You can control what you can do on the bike but the problem is you can't control others. Her cuts are slowly healing; not helped by the fact that I keep (accidentally) bumping them. Sorry!


  1. Celine you poor thing i hope you have recovered ok you silly duffa watch out for those crazy bike ladies

  2. Ouuch, those bloody moto drivers! Good to hear you're recovering already, Celine. Despite the messy traffic I had the impression that accidents are not that common, but now I'm changing my mind - besides you two both had an accident lately, we also had ours in Koh Chang, Thailand. We just fell down with the bike and except for some scratches on the bike nothing happened.
    Greetings from Bangkok! We just arrived here today, and will be spending the last 4 days of the trip probably resting with a huge plasma tv they have here in the hostel. ;)

  3. Same in Taiwan. One must drive defensively everywhere in Asia. Japan is okay. But the rest of Asia, be careful be very careful. A guy i know in Taipei, married to a Taiwanese woman, he was a TV expat star, got into motorscooter accident one night coming home from the studio, in a coma now ever since, two years ago, he will never recover, bedridden for life, cannot talk. Three kids. Wife takes care of him, parents visit from USA. It happens. It happens alot. Be safe, Celine!

  4. Thanks guys. I'm ok now. My memory almost completely back! :)
    Terrible what happened to your friend in Taipei...