So Vietnam dropped its gasoline subsidies and hiked the price gas stations are allowed to charge by 31% yesterday, to 19,000 dong a liter, which works out to about $4.25 a gallon. In response, I’m starting to hear people say they’re going to leave their motorbikes at home and commute via bicycle. Which is pretty amazing — it’s 34 degrees centigrade and 90% humidity every day here in summer, and people have spent the last 2 decades worshiping the transition from bicycle to motorbike as the iconic instantiation of the shift from Poor to Rich and Primitive to Modern. If Hanoi goes back to being a city of bicycles, or even goes back to the way it was four years ago…this might be a pretty nice city again.
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