They say necessity is the mother of invention. I don't know who the father is, but I'm pretty sure he's Vietnamese. Of all the countries I've traveled through, Vietnam was where I saw the "Work with what you got" ethos most thoroughly embraced, from kids to adults.
The street children on the block where I was staying in Hanoi had no toys, but they'd scrounged up a badminton shuttlecock from somewhere. They had no rackets, so they invented a tennis-like game where they kicked it back and forth. For a net they used a moped. In Hue I stopped at a cafe that had plenty of bottled beer but no bottle openers. They passed around a piece of wood that had a single screw driven into it at a precise angle and depth so that it worked perfectly as a bottle opener. In Saigon I encountered some guys trying to get a motorbike working. They had a piston that was too small for the engine block's cylinder. They made up the difference by cutting up a Pepsi can and using the thin metal as a cylindrical shim.
That trip was in the '90s and I have no photographs of these things, but here it is 2012 and I've got access to a video to prove my thesis of Vietnamese hacktastic supremacy:
What's most amazing to me is not the paddling part. It's the fact that the guy's been doing it so long, and apparently has so far to travel, that he installed a beach umbrella to keep the sun off his noggin.