Mekong Eye

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In the Mekong Delta: Erosion, Pollution, and Millions of Shrimp

“Wrong way!” Stephen, our driver, shouted at Pablo through the rolled-up window of his 4×4. We had jumped out of the car to take a ferry across the Mekong to the toothbrush-shaped island of Phu Thanh, and apparently Stephen was unimpressed with our door-closing technique. Heedless of the swarms of motorcycles flowing around the vehicle, he engaged the handbrake and got out himself to demonstrate the proper method.

Opening the door and quickly slamming it with exaggerated force, he pointed accusingly at Pablo. “Wrong way.”

Once more he pulled the door open, smiling as he gently closed it with a barely audible click. “Right way.”

By Luc Forsyth and Gareth Bright

Mekong Delta, Vietnam, November 27, 2015

The Diplomat

“Wrong way!” Stephen, our driver, shouted at Pablo through the rolled-up window of his 4×4. We had jumped out of the car to take a ferry across the Mekong to the toothbrush-shaped island of Phu Thanh, and apparently Stephen was unimpressed with our door-closing technique. Heedless of the swarms of motorcycles flowing around the vehicle, he engaged the handbrake and got out himself to demonstrate the proper method.

Opening the door and quickly slamming it with exaggerated force, he pointed accusingly at Pablo. “Wrong way.”

Once more he pulled the door open, smiling as he gently closed it with a barely audible click. “Right way.”

Satisfied with his tutorial, Stephen re-entered the vehicle and released the brake to roll down the steep concrete pitch leading to the ferry. Within ten minutes, the ferry captain maneuvered his vessel away from the shore and aimed it at Phu Thanh, which lay on the other side of the river, a little less than a kilometer away.

Read more at The Diplomat

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