Views #969 | Intermediate 5

Traffic Woes

Tu and Amir discuss traffic woes in their countries.

Tu: So, Amir, I heard ... I was really surprised to hear that Iran traffic is so bad.

Amir: Iran, yeah, Iran is actually very much famous for it's traffic. Traffic is so horrible. People have to just wait in cars for ages just to get to their places which is just by walking maybe forty minutes, thirty minutes far from the place you are.

Tu: So there are a lot of traffic jams?

Amir: Yeah, yeah. The capacitiy of the streets and the amount of car just doesn't match, so people have to wait for many hours.

Tu: Well, actually, you know what, Vietnamese traffic is also very terrible.

Amir: Oh, OK, now you tell me about Vietnam?

Tu: Yeah, especially Ho Chi Min City. I still remember it was so scary for me, for the first time I go to Ho Chi Min City. Well, you know, everyone seems to be moving, and we travel mostly by bikes, so you know, there are a lot of bikes on the streets and it seems like you get to move with them. If you stop, you're gonna get hit.

Amir: Oh, so you just have to flow with them.

Tu: Yes, and there seems to be no rules at all. Like, actually they used to be a lot people who just goes when it is red light, and it's pretty common. It was. It's getting better now but still, you I think it's because there are a lot of bikes. Too many of them.

Amir: OK, I am sure there are reasons for this traffic, but before that, before telling me why this is happening in your city, tell me, how you get used to it? How do you overcome this craziness, this anarchy you talk about?

Tu: Yeah, actually, you know, foreigners complain about it a lot, all the time, but we actually, we Vietnamese people, we actually not ... we don't think it's a matter. It's kind of a natural thing for us, to just get out of your house and go with the flow and it's just ... it is something normal, like every day life, and I think it's because we get to go by bicycle and motorbike pretty soon, pretty early, since we were primary school, and you know, one thing is, the bicycle in Vietnam ... we go on the same road with the cars and bikes, so everyone moves at the same time.


Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

for ages


Sometimes we wait in cars for ages.

'For ages' means for a really long time. How long, depends on the topic. Notice the following.

  1. Dinosaurs have been extinct for ages.
  2. I've been waiting ages for the next Johnny Depp movie.

the capacity of the streets


The problem is the capacity of the streets and the amount or cars.

'The capacity of the streets' is the amount of traffic the roads can support. Here are two samples.

  1. When the number of cars is greater than the capacity of the streets, we have a traffic jam.
  2. In Los Angeles, the capacity of the streets is huge, but there are just too many cars.

no rules at all


There seems to be no rules at all.

Here, 'no rules at all' talks about traffic laws. Notice the following.

  1. Driving through Delhi, there seemed to be no traffic rules at all.
  2. For tourists, there appear to be no rules at all when crossing the street in Vietnam.

overcome the craziness


How do you overcome the craziness?

When Amir asks "How do you overcome the craziness?" he means how can things function if nobody obeys the law. Here are some samples.

  1. We had over 100 people partying at my parent's house. I don't know how we overcame the craziness.
  2. How do we overcome the craziness? We don't actually. What looks crazy to you is normal for me.

go with the flow


I try to go with the flow.

When we go with the flow', we do things the same way as others because it's easier. Notice the sample sentences.

  1. The way to overcome the craziness is to go with the flow.
  2. When traveling in a foreign country, it's best to just go with the flow.

Vocabulary Quiz

for ages • capacity • no rules
 overcome • with the flow
  1. In Mexico there are , there are only suggestions.
  2. Don't try to do things like you do them back home. Just try to go .
  3. Wow!  I haven't see you !
  4. How did you the frustration of driving in traffic like this every day?
  5. What is the of this boat? 
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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