Children’s Train, Hoi An, Viet Nam


The new year plowed through with a bang. Not just the pop, thump, and flash of fireworks, but with a motorbike accident.

I was sitting outside of a friend’s spa, chatting while eating chicken and rice when there was a loud boom behind me. Before I could turn around, a young man, wearing a blue rain poncho, came sliding on his chest across the sidewalk. He crashed into my friend’s business stand, that stood outside her spa, listing her manicure, pedicure, massage, etc. prices, and finally stopped. Luckily he wore a black helmet for protection. Unluckily, he also wore flip-flops, which were nowhere in sight now, and he had circles of flesh missing from his ankles and feet.

We ran over and helped the dazed rider. About 15 or 20 feet back lay his motorcycle, and next to it a green cab. The cab had been making a U-turn and hit the motorcyclist. Strangely, the cabbie didn’t come to the motorcyclist or us and ask about him. Instead, he waited by the motorbike. A long gash stretched from the front bumper to the back of the front passenger-side door. The cabbie checked his door several times to ensure that it still opened. 

A crowd formed, and friends of the motorcyclist brought him ice to put on his wounds. When I asked if an ambulance or the police would come, I was told that his family had been called and that they would take him to the hospital. 

Someone from the cabbie’s company arrived and began taking pictures, and from the cabbie’s face, it was clear that he was worried about his job. The motorcyclist finally got to his feet and was given a cigarette by (who I assumed to be) his brother. He walked over and examined the damage to his motorbike, picking up pieces from the ground. 

As the crowd dispersed, I returned to my chicken and rice. This was the second accident that I’d seen in Hoi An. The first was the next block over, just a few evenings before. Luckily, that collision caused even less damage than this one.

Hours earlier, I celebrated the first day of the year by going out and making photographs. Children’s Train, Hoi An, Viet Nam is my favorite of all of them.