Car Driver to Motorbike Rider
Swapping a car for a motorbike is not something I had ever thought I would do.
My skill is improving and my navigation of the city is a whole lot better but it is still a daily adventure.
Lack of space and enclosed cars means that people and activities spill on to the streets. To the pavements.
These dogs are found on many gate posts
I wondered why so much stuff was carried on bikes. Then I thought that probably the same strange ‘stuff’ is carried in cars in the west. If we took the lids and walls of our metal boxes then what would we see? May be even stranger in the knowledge it was under wraps. It doesn’t seem so strange any more.
Herbs for sale
Sewing machines, air-conditioning units, typewriters and computers. Panes of glass, mattresses and garden trellises. And these are only the inanimate objects. Ducks in plastic bags hens in baskets and dogs. Dogs ride on motorbikes with consummate ease. At first I saw little ones carried in boxes, then large ones with their front paws on the handle bars, then just your average sized pooch sat in the front by its humans feet. Generally unconcerned by the noise and traffic they watch the world go by with ears flying back as comfortable as any dog you know with its head stuck out of a car window.
Open road on the way to the Củ Chi Tunnels
Traffic is crazy at times. At rush hour hundreds, maybe thousands of motor bikes jam the main city streets with inches between. Somehow it works.
In the first month I wore out my brake. I scrunched hard if anyone or anything crossed my path. I have learned to weave. Down to a snails pace at roundabouts and crossings and slowly move around people or bikes.
Crossing the road on foot no longer fills me with terror. Bikes are smaller than cars. Cross the road with your hand in the air. The bikes will weave around you. Don’t stop or turn back. Don’t confuse the issue. Keep going and you won’t get knocked over.
At roundabouts and junctions the slow moving dance slots together and separates like the prongs of two forks. Space is somehow found in the direction you need to go.
Take away or eat out
And cars. Why are they allowed on city streets? They just block the road. They are big. Bikes move around in anyway they can. No one waits for cars to move. If there is a space a bike will take it. As for busses. Go behind and be poisoned by fumes. Go by the side, to the right and be slowly squeezed out at the next stop. Indicated by an incessant squeal, flashing light and arms waving from windows.
I’m truly a convert. Car driver to motorbike rider in three ‘easy’ months!
Pictures from a pillion ride – not yet master the art of riding without hands.