My motorbike is my home

Michelle Gilmore

Subiaco, Australia

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Artist's Description

While we were travelling in Vietnam, we got into an interesting conversation with a friendly local man. He mentioned in passing that there are four million bikes (scooters, mopeds, small cc motorcycles) for 10 million people in Saigon. One look at the passing traffic and you know he was right. Apparently there were hardly any even 10 years ago.

Not only are there enormous numbers of bikes, the things that get carried on them are astonishing. Whole families of four; entire consignments of boxes for delivery somewhere; a large whipper snipper; ladders, chickens, small trees, glass cabinets for shops!

But many seem to just park their bikes on the street (I think they are motorbike taxis) and then they become a sofa, a recliner chair – in short, home. We sawy countless people leaning back against their handlebars, perusing their newspaper or having a quiet doze, or just sitting there, watching the passing parade and having a quiet smoke. Shoes are off and neatly placed on the pavement below, just as you might leave them at your doorstep before going indoors.

This sketch is done in pen and sepia wash.

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motorcycle taxi vietnam

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