Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Helmets Galore

You can start seeing lots of helmets on the streets of Hanoi these days - it started about a month ago, when the government mandated that all government employees were required to wear helmets. I think it was Sep. 15th or so. The employees obliged (lest they be fined) and helmets popped up all over. The general populace will have to comply by Dec. 15th of this year.

This quick adoption of the rules is an example of how the government here, like everywhere else, can get compliance to its social policies through its employment channels, simply because it is the biggest employer around. Sorta like how the US government ushered in workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, disability accommodation, and other progressive social change by introducing it first in the Civil Service.

Another thing that the local government enforces is child planning. Unlike China's one-child policy (which has led to China becoming an "aging society" more quickly than it's economic development would have indicated), Vietnam's two-child policy is encouraged by fining government employees for having more than that number of children. You can have more kids, you'll just get into trouble at work.

The other thing you may notice in the above picture is that Minsk rider. If you look through that haze of pollution on the right you can catch him. Some white dude polluting a country that is not his. Maybe I should go on a personal crusade to publicly embarrass all the Minsk riders and other visible polluters around town. Sorta like the Hanoi version of the site Fuck You and Your H2.

If you want to buy a motorbike, scrap together some money and get yourself the new Honda Click. It was designed for the developing market, so it's only $1,550 (a new Honda Dream is about $950), and, most importantly, it's the only new motorbike sold in Vietnam that meets the Euro II standard in actual use, in a study conducted by the government earlier this summer, as reported in Vietnam News.


SaigonNezumi (Kevin) said...
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D. said...

All blogspots are back up for me now in Hanoi, though still shaky with the connections (Viettel internet service, fwiw).

No, I don't have a Click. I still don't ride motorbikes. If I did get a bike, then the Click would be it. I also like chick bikes, like the Yamaha Mio. The soft lines and the blingy chrome make it look cute and fun. There's no sense in making something with less than 500cc's butch.

D. said...

SaigonNezumi (Kevin) said:

You know, I have worn my helmet for nearly 3 weeks now. I love it. My student brought me one from Taiwan which meets ISO ratings :-)

I agree with you on the website for the Minsk guys. Not just them,other motorbikes as well.

You have the Honda Click? I hopped unto an Air Blade today. It is too much of a girl's bike for me. I think I will get a new Yamaha Nouvo to replace my current one for now though I can see myself beefing up the Air Blade with large tires and thicker hand grips :-)