Wednesday, August 17, 2005

(Not So) Easy Rider

by AJ

Im now hitting Bangkok's roads during rush hour..... and holy shit... what chaos. Its quite a baptism by fire for a new motorcycle rider. No one stays in their lanes, so buses are constantly swerving across my path. Drivers cut me off. Others rocket past me.

Then there is the fact that in Bangkok, motorcycles ride BETWEEN cars. The big advantage- we cruise right through the traffic jams. But this can be a hair raising experience. The space between vehicles is often tight. Ive already clipped my side mirrors twice. And sometimes I wonder, as I slip between two huge buses... "do they know Im here".

All of this could produce disastrous or wonderful results. Disastrous if I am pancaked between two trucks. Wonderful if I survive. Cause Im certainly learning to drive defensively and to be constantly aware. I scan the front, sides, and back of the bike incessantly. Im always looking for the stray dogs who dart into the road, the pedestrians who dash across, the guys going the wrong way on one way streets (happens all the time)......

Some people say Im crazy. But eventually, you just have to leap into the fray. You prepare (I spent quite a while weaving around chairs and riding on back streets)... but sooner or later you've got to throw yourself into the whole catastrophe... and hope to survive.

Id say thats true of many things in life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Insanity in individuals is something rare -- but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.
Nietzsche, Friedrich