Traffic in Vung Tau had seemed chaotic: Motor scooters flow from side streets into traffic without a sideways glance from the driver, make U-turns, or head down the wrong side of the street. Cars, trucks, and buses straddling the middle line force their way through. In the countryside, the rules change: Motorbikes, ox carts, bicycles, and pedestrians are on the defensive. The open road is a war zone. Pulling out from behind large vehicles, drivers routinely risk mayhem on a collision course with buses and trucks-yet they never hesitate, hitting the accelerator with horns blaring and headlights flashing, sometimes three abreast. Again and again we gripped the edge of our seat in fearful anticipation. If our driver became impatient, he'd pass on the shoulder side, forcing bicycles, motor scooters, and pedestrians to hit the ditch.