Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Family That Rides Together...

The Answers:
A love seat and cushions
A lawn mower
3 women
3 women, 3 young boys and a baby
A goat
A man holding an automobile windshield
9 brass milk jugs
A man holding 46 boxes of shoes
A mother, baby and a standing floor fan
A 3-drawer filing cabinet
3 adult men
A large roll of carpet

And the Question:

Who/what (besides the driver) did I see on a small motorcycle this past week on the ride to and from work?

Motorcycles are pretty much the major mode of transportation here in Lahore.  They monopolize the roads and when you’re stopped at stop lights, they wiggle their way to the front and line up like cattle.  Any room left between you and the car in front of you will be filled with motorcycles by the time the light turns green.  The traffic lights only work 12 hours out of every 24, every other hour, due to load shedding (shutting off power to the city) so intersections are always every man for himself.

Often, you will see the rider of the motorcycle with his helmet on his gas tank. There's a helmet law here so they carry it just in case they're stopped and then they put it on.  Never do you see any of the other riders wearing one. 

All the women ride ‘side saddle’ and often have a child in their arms and one of more squeezed in between them and the driver.  Young children will ride on the gas tank and I’ve even seen foot rests welded to the frame for the kids to rest their feet on.  The most kids riding on the gas tank I’ve seen on one bike was 4, with the youngest in front, next youngest behind him and so on.  It reminded me of the kids from the movie The Sound of Music.

When you can’t afford a car, you use whatever means you have to get from point A to point B.  And you transport whatever you have, whether it’s kids or animals or windshields on that bike.  You would think that if you had to use a motorcycle to get around with a family in tow, you wouldn’t have any more children than you could fit on that bike.  So far, the most kids on a bike with Mom and driver that I’ve seen is 5.  That’s 7 on a small motorcycle.   I've seen pictures of more than that!

Not bad, just driver, mom and baby. The kids learn from an early age how to ride on a bike.

Carpet delivery man

These large jugs are used to transport milk. Note the one by the front wheel. 4 were on each side with one behind the driver.

Mom, Dad and 3 kids.

These young men were passing a cigarette back and forth...2 on the bike on the left, 3 guys on the bike on the right.

The back bike had 2 kids riding on the tank and a case behind the driver.

Mom, Dad and 4 kids...see the baby?  And a large bag.

Bag hanging below the driver holding the fan in front of the baby being held by Mom.

The monsoon season began a couple of weeks ago.  We were on our way to see the carpet company and it started pouring.  We came up to an overpass and I had to laugh that 2 of the 3 lanes had turned into a parking lot.  Oh...driving in Pakistan is an adventure!


Angela Hively said...

Wow, you have a great eye!

Debi said...

Angela!! Hello!! There's lots to see here! I do miss my beach walks!

Brooke said...

I have been thinking about you and praying for your safety. I hope all is well. Take Care

Debi said...

Brooke, thanks for your prayers. I've returned from authorized evacuation and my subsequent 3 week R&R in Italy and things have calmed down and are back to normal, whatever that is. 12 of us were evacuated to Dubai but in my personal opinion, the target was the physical Consulate building. We would have been just as safe being confined to our homes for the time the demonstrations were going on. But Washington didn't want to take any chances with our lives, so off to Dubai we went. But, believe it or not, I'm glad to be back 'home' and in my own bed! Another 19 or so months and I'll be looking for a job!! I hate forced retirement...

P.S. Watch for my next entry with what all I did in Italy!

Andy said...

This is funny! The first time that I saw this I was in Morocco. I knew something was different when I saw 4 people on one small 150cc scooter. Interesting the way people get around, love your list of stuff you saw people riding with. Different world it is!

Debi said...

Andy, I should carry my camera in the armored vehicle that I ride back and forth to work in every day and document what I see. The ones I didn't photograph were the passenger carrying a love seat and another one holding on for dear life to a small refrigerator. When a 150cc scooter is all you have, you figure out a way!