Saturday, July 24, 2010

Three wheels on my wagon

Just about every road user in Thailand must of had a near death experience involving one of the vehicles shown in the photograph. If you haven't then you are very much in the minority.
           There are a number of reasons why this mode of transport is so dangerous. Most of them don't seem to be equipped with rear view mirrors. The ones that are usually have them angled so that the driver has a prime view of the road beneath them rather than give him any clue as to what might be going on behind him.
            Very few have lights or indicators of any description and none of their drivers seem to be familiar with the concept of hand signals.  In fact, it's the drivers that seem to be the main problem.  It would appear that to qualify as an owner of such a vehicle you must be at least 75 years old. You must also carry, whenever possible, a passenger in the front portion who is a minimum of 10 years older than yourself. If such a passenger isn't available then they can be substituted for at least 7 small children and babies. A good working knowledge of how to break every rule in the highway code is also a distinct advantage.
                              I had my closest call just the other day with one of these 3 wheeled wrecks and it's brain dead driver. I was unable to second guess his intentions at a busy junction and i used up another one of my dwindling stock of 9 lives. I managed a quick out-in swerve at the last moment and avoided a collision by inches. If we had indeed collided then he would have been well protected by the contents of his cart. Namely, at least a half a ton of scrap cardboard stacked improbably high and only just held down with some pink frayed string.
                                    It was only when i stole a quick glance in my mirror that my suspicions were confirmed. He couldn't see over or around his cargo!


  1. Very amusing.
    Hand signals are out of the question because it takes the stregth of both arms to keep it in a straight line.

    Thanks for an enjoyable post and photo.

    All the best, Boonsong

  2. Thanks for the comment Boonsong.. I hope your new camera phone wasn't too expensive as my wife wants one after seeing it on your post....

  3. Tom my girlfriend's grandmother gets pushed around the village in one of these (minus the motor). It's quite a funny yet heart touching sight, it brings home the reality of the hardship in Isaan's rural areas.

    As for the motor driven ones, I've seen plenty of them myself and I wouldn't fancy hitting one of the country roads many potholes in one of those things not knowing it was there. Amazing Isaan.

  4. Hi Martyn.
    Yes, you are right about those potholes. The roads near my home are strewn with them. I know where most of them are on my regular journeys but i wouldn't like to hit one at any speed or with any vehicle.