I only spent one hour in Danang. At the bus station.

The touts in Vietnam are a hard-working bunch. When I ride local buses, I’m usually the only foreigner onboard. Approaching a bus station like this always creates such a hoopla that its usually the best part of the ride.

It starts a few blocks away from the station. One of them will spot me looking out the window and start tailing the bus on his motorbike. A couple blocks later and there’s a swarm - 6 or 7 - competing for my attention. The more I try to ignore them the crazier they get. Some of them even hang onto the side of the bus, flying towards either oncoming traffic on the left side or the food carts on the right while they shout at me through the window.

Then the bus pulls into the station and the madness begins. I’m almost always asked to ride in the back with my bags so the moto drivers whip themselves into a frenzy while they wait for the rest of the passengers to disembark. I try to take my time as well.

Stepping off the bus is like jumping into a tank of piranhas. Normally I just set my sights on the table of a nearby pho or com place and let them devour eachother while I enjoy a slow meal. I was in the mood for some goofy fun today, though.

As soon as they started grabbing, pinching and yelling I started giving it right back to them. I pinched the pinchers, grabbed the grabbers and laughed and yelled along with the more obnoxious ones. I thought maybe this would dissolve the crowd, but instead everyone around took notice and came over to watch the nutty foreigner go crazy in the street. Everyone was laughing - at least the first set of moto drivers seemed to get the joke - so I just kept up the performance, and so did they. I jumped, poked and danced around with them for a couple minutes until I was all sweaty and then finally gave it up. Everyone had one last hearty laugh, and a couple of the drivers even sat down with me while I had some water. I told them I was from France.