Friday, April 3, 2009

The Becak

One of the cheaper forms of transportation available throughout Indonesia is the becak (pronounced “beh-chack”). It’s essentially a small motorcycle with a two-seat sidecar bolted on the side. 

The number of people who can ride on a becak at one time is only limited by the size and flexibility of the passengers. One morning I saw four high school girls in the sidecar and two more behind the driver. They run the range from well-maintained to “take your life in your hands”. The photo is of a becak we rode back to the hotel after dinner on Simeulue. You can see it was badly in need of a wash. The headlamp put out all of one candle power. It was a good job that the roads on Simeulue are pretty much deserted after dark. I rode behind the driver on the motorcycle and my two travelling companions rode in the sidecar.

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