Saturday, March 5, 2016


The first thing one notes upon stepping off a  flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur is that he has suddenly reentered the modern world. Four lane freeways rush into the city, spilling their travelers into a neat and orderly street grid criss-crossing beneath the towering skyscrapers. Here is an actual plan for traffic flow, quite unlike the whimsical chaos of Bali roads, which seem to have been shaken well and tossed down rather than planned and arranged. At the sides of these streets are something they call "sidewalks", an ingenious invention which allows for the separation of pedestrians and motor vehicles. These two modes of conveyance intersect with things called "crosswalks". Astounding.

The second thing one notices is that there are very few motorbikes on the road. Gone is the buzzing and darting swarm which, in Bali, flutters along between, beside, behind and before the cars. Why there are so very few motorbikes, I do not know. Are cars cheaper? Are they merely more practical, given the more practical roads? Beats me.

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