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Brazil. Russia. India. China. Four rising powers. One blog to explain them all.

Back in the saddle...

Once again, there's an "i" in Bricyard Vietnam traffic photo HOANG DINH NAM - AFP/Getty Images

Your mild-mannered Delhi correspondent is back in the land of paneer and samosas after a too-brief vacation in Vietnam, only to find that BRIC has added an S before I could suggest a V.  Oh well.  

Traveling has me thinking about cultural relativism, so here's a few quick contrasts:

India traffic - Drivers speed up to close gaps so that pedestrians can't jump out into the road (0.8 car lengths is the rule of thumb; go to 1.2 lengths and somebody will try to nose in).

Vietnam traffic - Motorcyclists adjust their speed so that pedestrians can walk through the mass of traffic safely, as though there's a force field around them.

India road crossing - It's the pedestrian's responsibility to gauge the speed of traffic, pick a spot, and dash across the road without getting killed.

Vietnam road crossing - The best way for a pedestrian to cross the road is not to look at the oncoming traffic (use peripheral vision if you're scared). That way, traffic adjusts to your walking pace; otherwise, they get flummoxed trying to read your mind.