Joel: We ate lunch at a dam today. We looked at birds, the lake, and giant bees while we ate. The drive to and from aforementioned dam was almost wholly on rural dirt roads with lots of bikers and pedestrians and not a lot of cars. Did you know that bongololo is how you say centipede in Chichewa? Chichewa is the national language of Malawi and is the everyday language for about 54% of Malawians. The official language is English and the national language is Chichewa. If I've lost you by now, I'm not surprised. Now, for the list of loads we've seen carried on bikes:
-People on cargo racks
-Goat. Don't know if it was alive or dead, carried by the passenger on the cargo rack.
-Pigs. Dead, strapped to a wooden pallet on the cargo rack.
-Chickens, alive and clucking, hanging from the handlebars by their feet. I was told chickens are calmer upside-down.
-Tomatoes on the cargo rack.
-Corn in a big bag, on, of course, the cargo rack.
From now on, just assume it was on the cargo rack to spare me the trouble of typing it.
-Tall bags of charcoal, laid or their sides stacked up.
-Firewood going to the market, strapped to racks behind the seat as tall as the rider's head and often bent over it.
-Rolls of corrugated metal roofing material. Those loads were as wide as a car!
-Loads of cassava arranged in big cone-shaped wire baskets.
Many bikes here are used as taxis and have a padded seat with little handlebars for a cargo rack. People make money pedaling other people around, often working for a little bike taxi fleet.
Bikes here are simple, dependable, singlespeeds that are rugged and easy to maintain.
They often are Chinese Hero bicycles or are very similar.