Curious Cargoes

Motorbike with machines strapped to either sidde and on top, lorry on other side of road, 5 ton weight limit. One washing machine, one fridge, two water heaters, but no kitchen sink. And approaching, a twenty ton truck having just crossed a bridge that has a five ton weight limit Vietnamese motorbikes carry everything. This page shows a few examples of that range; and the next page shows some of the overloading that so fascinates foreigners. The word motorbike needs qualification, these are nearly all around 100cc and badged as 'Honda' or 'Yamaha', indeed they are often referred to as Hondas although they may never have been near an original - except in the sense of being faithful, if inferior, copies. They are simple machines, and parts are readily available, allowing them to stay in service for a decade or more. The photographs here are nearly all taken in Hà Nội. Captioning is largely reserved for hidden complications - the actual loads are usually obvious. Pillion motorcyclist carrying ladder on his sholder. A Hyundai bus. The word in Korean means 'modern'. The Vietnamese word is the same, although it looks different, Hiện đại Driver and pillion holding 5 metre pipes. These dark blue and white jackets are worn by every school pupil in the country. Driver's left hand is free to help hold the pipes Man with four large boxes. When this was taken 10 years ago: mask, sunglasses and helmet were the full kit, but... Man wearing sunglasses, no helmet or mask, with two large sacks as pillion. ...back then, helmets were optional; sunglasses de rigueur Two riders, a masked and hatted woman, and a hatted man with pile of mats. However, maybe hats help, and she might have sunglasses on. The man
is carrying mats, especially used for floor level meals
Two conical gift wrapped wedding accessories. Delivery of wedding extras from a shop, in the background, specialising in them Man with large soft bags infront and behind him. Maybe a motorbike version of the air-bag for those without crash helmets Curious cloth hat on man with cylindrical bundles. A sort of hat compromise One load of flat boxes and one of toys. Toys and boxes Two helmeted riders, woman with boxes, man phoning. By 2013 helmets were mandatory Eight jerrycans behind fully masked woman. Jerrycans, probably not filled as the weight would topple the bike, and a totally incognito woman Man with several two gallon ater bottles, in front of two wardrobes, one of their drivers visible. Drinking water bottles, but just showing beyond, two motorbikes each bearing a wardrobe Two very large bed rolls riding pillion. Taken on a sunny Christmas day, but many winter days in Hà Nội are very cold and these quilts are highly desirable Two riders with sunglasses following man with two large boxes on the back. While sunglasses are part of any well dressed Hanoian's kit, they can like his be hanging from his shirt button Man in dress trousers on expensive motorbike phoning. Nearly all bikes have automatic clutches ("Women's bikes") leaving the left hand free for vital work: phoning and texting Load obscuring rider falling off bike, in front of it truck laden high with boxes, three men on these. This bike is definitely about to cast its load to the right; the guy in red on the truck is watching in anticipation Rider with coconuts, all on one side, leaning the other way. On the other hand this load of coconuts is not in danger, being balanced by the driver's riding angle Man driving bike with three female and one male passenger. Being overloaded with goods awaits the next page, but in the meantime here are four shots of bikes being overloaded with people. Five up like this is not common... Four young men on a motorbike. ...whereas four up is often seen... Three women and two children on a motorbike. managing five up, but then two of them are halves Smiling man driving, another man holding nets for fishing and waving, and four teenage boys on a bike. Cheating slightly having four teenagers, but they seem to be celebrating getting six up! The fishing nets might indicate a trip, the product of which is going to be a challenge to carry Three gutted pig carcases on the back of a bike Less lively animals on this bike; newly gutted pigs Large bundle of greens on a bike. And maybe this bundle of greens for the non-carnivores? Four large boxes behind driver. Such packs as these may house unknown delights Close up of the pigs carcases shown above. A closer look at those dead pigs Three pigs on the back of a bike in tight metal cages. A too common sight - mistreated live pigs Hens in a wire coop. Maybe more acceptable - chickens to market Hands of bananas piled high behind driver. Bananas to the rescue - a food universally regarded as positive Elegant woman on up market motorbike with boxes on bike behind her. This woman, and her luxury model, are not about to be seen delivering (those boxes are on another bike) Very old motorbike parked at roadside. And a venerable beast of burden: side panniers, frame for towing, and the rust of decades Man sleeping on motorbike, another man sitting on his, and traffic passing close by. A fitting end to the stresses of transport documented above - a motorbike taxi driver grabbing some rest on an 'Angel', while the traffic roars past Trailers... Motorbike in lane with 13 crates of Coca-cola on it. The next page of this section moves from curiosity of cargo to (often gross) overloading of motorcycles,
in and near Hà Nội.
- The One Pillar Pagoda standing on its one leg in a pond. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'One Pillar'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 1st January 2022 Murphy on duty to this site

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