The sign at the right shows what the motorbike's load is. In such lanes dogs and infants run free - the thought of the ensuing, most shattering of, accidents...I have never seen any such Two pots with ten foot (3 metre) banana trees in them This and the previous page are similar, both having photographs of the ubiquitous small motorbikes in Vietnam. That last page took curiosity as its theme, this page takes overloading - a separation that is not rigorous. Most photographs were taken on the streets of Hà Nội some years ago when crash helmets were for softies, today they are normal. Overloading has always really been frowned upon, but the police have more important fish to fry. Sometimes the loads seen are so excessive that there is no sign of the motorbike, let alone the driver. The problems of photographing such moving loads in traffic are compounded by not all drivers wishing to be caught on 'film' - my justification for some fuzzy shots. These are boxes of sea food. I can count over 60 of them... Hopefully this large bundle is made of very light stuff ...And here they are again from behind Supplies of instant noodles
- maybe he is grinning
This balancing act must indicate a very light load; it seems to extend behind the bike for a full bike's length again
The woman in the above photo looks about to fall off, a hawker is visible in the top corner; these two shots...
...were taken from a window overlooking the street. Above, boxes of Halida beer speeding to thirsty throats
An apparent early 'self driving' Honda (with a tilt)
This is probably a much heavier load - legs out to help his balance
Hat and coat stands
The foot shows that there is a driver - well at least a foot...
...The existence of an attached body is confirmed
Flat sheets, facing the direction of travel, are no fun for any driver - Vietnamese norms require that such strain is not evidenced on the face, but note the intent look
The man on the pillion of the neighbouring bike thinks the bed is toppling...
...but a few seconds later, all is fine; happily - as we come along side
Vietnam has many forms of policing. Traffic police have smart beige uniforms (above left) and concentrate on wealthier car drivers. Important police do not wear uniforms and are extremely civil, if unambiguously authoritative. There are also local services such as seen above who tackle, as here, parking and other misdemeanours, the truck means they can take bikes away, as he is no doubt telling this woman. Photographing more 'authoritative' forms of policing does not go down well!
Maybe you can just see the driver's left elbow, he is holding onto his load. He demonstrates why 'Women's bikes', with no clutch, are almost universal for the purposes of delivery!
A video clip taken at a major roundabout in central Ha Noi. At the start a large load comes past, various other smaller loads can be seen. Pedestrians and cyclists, looking at severe risk, pass the camera, however, considering the circumstances accidents to these two groups are relatively rare - accidents to motorbikes are frequent
It is not only the delicate balancing acts that must be performed to get these often bizarre loads to their destination, it is also that this must be done through some of the world's densest motorcycle traffic - as the man above is demonstrating for us
Another bed, but this time a man is holding it and
a woman is driving.
Conventionally men drive; and women carry
Flattened cardboard at the back of the
Packets strapped to the bike, as well as being slung below
The evening sun casting, what for Vietnam are, long shadows - Vietnam is entirely in the tropics so dusk is more like switching off lights; there is little twilight. Carrying the awkward board, and to the right a woman clasping a suitcase, contrast with the ease of the ride for the woman in pink
And yet more instant noodles. You can tell, as magnification reveals the word 'tom', that is shrimps which are used to flavour the popular forms of dry noodles
These last two shots are far out in the country. This looks as though he has a modest array behind him, however...
...seen from the rear, his haberdasher's stall seems wonderfully comprehensive
The next page
of this section has photographs of transport powered by people.
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'I Ching'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.