Thursday, January 17, 2008

A style of their own.

People were on the move every where, not the sophistication of today's transport. The push, pull style if you could get on or in a vehicle ,you pushed a place for yourself and hung on for dear life. The whole lively hood or packages or farm got on with you with who ever got on next in line. So the inside of the vehicle would be heads and arms and crushed bodies , the outside would be anything from tin pots and pans to bamboo poles filled with trussed up chickens for market , or a pig in a wicker basket, who would calmly nibble on whatever was adjacent to it in he pile. Not an unusual sight would be a farmer with his produce all balanced carefully on a push bike, a little mountain with two little brown skinny legs and flip flops wobbling along. In town , the most usual means of  goods transport would be  a hand cart, fashioned out of an old lorry axle and wood, some times just a plank over the axle. Fantastic loads would then be put on this and dragged, pushed and managed at an unbelievable pace by two guys who look close to death,(wiry little buggers). The more affluent would have  an old scooter or moped with which they would pull a little cart behind. But I am forgetting the most famous form of  transport , the yoke. To see these tiny little people carry these around loaded with you name it is a sight never to believe. Finally there comes the head, bananas in a full blown bunch are heavy, to see some one who walks miles with 4 or so bunches tied with string to market on there head would blow a European.   One memory that will never leave me is this. Dawn comes more or less at 6 every day, the start of the day would be the shop keeper would roll up his shutters. Those who are fortunate to own a bed and slept under the eves would pickup their wooden beds, no mattress and take them back to who they hired them from or to there storage nook. Using oil lamps the keeper or a worker would scatter drops of water on the pavement out side the shop and the dust would be brushed. The tables put out and the goods displayed. Then out would come the little charcoal stove and a tower of steam pots would be filled and breakfast cooked. This would depend on if the keeper was a Muslim or not other wise it is washing of the hands and feet the prayer mat out and prayers for the day said. Within minutes it would turn from relative quiet to utter rowdy chaos and another day would start. Well I can't write about it all at once so I will return and speak more another time.

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