Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Transportation Cripple

To all parents and future parents, alike:

Hear ye, hear ye.

When you are considering the well-being of your progeny and contemplating which dangerous ventures to allow and which to ban, think of the future. Envision the moment when your son/daughter happens to be in a far off land short of cash and with nothing but a pair of worn out sandals on his/her feet and a longing to visit a museum burning in his/her heart. There is a motorbike at your offspring's disposal. Is this the solution to all his/her woes?

NO. It is not. Because you have forbidden your beloved youngster from owning a motorcycle at home, where the roads are wide, traffic laws are obeyed, and there are more cows than people. How then could the untried traveler manage to weave and dodge through the tangles of erratic driving with a foreign vehicle? Alas and alack. It is too much. Your son/daughter will manage to steer or accelerate, but be unable to do both at once. He/she will make the owner of the motorbike so nervous that eventually, the dream of independent transportation is abandoned and he/she is left at the mercy of taxis, motorbike taxis, and bemos. Is this what you really want? To make your child into a transportation cripple?

I think not!

He/she just might decide to walk for four hours to get where he/she wants to go. But when his/her feet are blistered and sore, how will he/she get home? He/she will be racing against time, hoping beyond all hope to see the temple on the cliff, as the sun melts into the ocean. Will your lack of foresight cause the dream to be dashed to the pavement?


Or a good man might appear as an answer to prayer, willing to drive the despondent walker wherever he/she wanted to go. A friendly, kind father with a wife and two little sons at home might overhear his/her negotiations with a motorbike taxi driver and decide to help out the traveler simply because it is in his power to do so and not for any monetary gain. He might transport your weary child on the back of his bike and pay the temple entrance fee and feed him/her dinner and drop him/her off at home. The encounter might cause your son/daughter to think carefully about his/her own actions and wonder: if the situation were reversed, would he/she be as kind and generous to a perfect stranger?

So if you do not perfectly equip your offspring to be fiercely independent, leaving him/her reliant on others, perhaps you are doing him/her a great service. Your son/daughter will be able to be blessed by the generosity of others and in turn, seek ways to help strangers around him/her.

EDIT: I forgot to point out that I still think learning how to drive a motorbike is a valuable life skill. It just so happens that not knowing how to drive one has its positive side, too. But I still want a motorcycle license.


  1. This is excellent. I have also been blessed by the generosity of many strangers turned friends. Not only hitchhiking, but also Middle Eastern hospitality in general. I hope I can do the same for others.

  2. or despite no experience, the wayward child, then adult, might rent such a vehicle on the island of Eos and in an awkward moment at a sudden turn stop too suddenly and dump riding wife on the back leaving her with an ugly scrape on one leg which outcome could have been pretty obvious with a simple survey of all the bandaged tourists on the island (oh so that is why!) all explaining why unless you were raised in the culture dont try to imitate the most challenging parts on a day tour.