Most of, if not all taxis, have the tops of their windshields blacked out with tape, cardboard, or plastic. “To keep the sun out, and the inside of the car cooler,” they say. FM radio transmitters blare out Beyonce and Don Omar with gusto. The speakers usually have the dirtiest bass ever.
The inside of the cab will usually have a Mother Mary statue stuck to the dashboard, plus some prayer beads hanging from the rearview mirror. Most of the time, the design theme is Portuguese or Brazilian soccer. This particularly taxi had a rather unique interior design….
I take that back. This taxi–which took us all the way from Bairo Pite, to Tibar, to Comoro, back to Bairo Pite–takes the cake.
Microlets are popular as well. Only ten, twenty cents per person, and you get to feel the bustle of Dili’s traffic swirling around you. Young men will always be seen hanging out of the microlet’s doors, smoking cigarettes and texting friends. While traveling at 40km/h. Holding on with one hand. Ah, so safe.
However, no matter what anyone in the West says, motorbikes are definitely the way to travel. I learned to ride while in Bali, whilst hanging out with locals in a narrow stone alleyway. With wind whipping around you, sticking your shirt to your chest–feeling each and every bump reverberate through the tiny scooter’s frame–hanging on for dear life as your driver weaves between reckless taxis and lumbering U.N. trucks–you can’t help but yearn for an experience like this in the States. It’s a beautiful thing to cruise around town on a Boston summer night–windows down, blasting music without a care in the world–but you can’t help but wish for the same two-wheeled experience that you get in Asia.
Oh well. Maybe after college; maybe if my family’s Honda Pilot ever breaks down. Hah.