I've had a few hair-raising moments in Vietnam. Scooter taxis skimming through traffic narrowly avoiding trucks and buses. Tuco and his gang trying it on. But this young taxi driver was something else. In his tiny little car, he looked about 15. It's 20km to Hoi An from Da Nang, and off we went.
He drove slowly, constantly on his horn, even when the upcoming scooters were at least 40 yards away. I developed a headache, and Tourettes. The Jock was asking for music to drown it out. The Colonel just sweated and developed a mantra of "Fuck's sake.." with every head-on collision we managed to avoid. The highway was two lanes wide in each direction. He insisted on driving right down the centre of it...with no lights on as the sun was rapidly dropping behind the horizon. I eventually got him to pull over and put the headlights on.
He had to keep asking directions to Hoi An, and was even reversing down the highway with no lights at one point. "This nob's not done The Knowledge, has he?" the Colonel quipped. Once into Hoin An proper, he nearly killed us another half-dozen times (I'd lost count) before we arrived at the hotel. I felt like doing The Pope, and kissing the filthy ground as I got out.