In much of Southeast Asia, the streets are clotted with motos — motorcycles or scooters. Since they cost less than cars, the vehicles are the least expensive way to upgrade from traveling by foot or bicycle. They also are a major contributor to air pollution.
Because the two-wheelers are everywhere, foreigners quickly take their presence for granted and many expats adopt them for transportation.
You see drivers of every kind fearlessly navigating congested streets and, for the most part, skillfully dodging each other, bicyclists, pushcarts and SUVs. They speed (in relative terms) around obstacles, occasionally bump into each other and generally shrug at minor collisions. During the work day, traffic usually goes no faster than 20 miles per hour (33 km), but there are plenty of close calls.
Still, seeing a grandmotherly or prepubescent driver on a moto, a kid without helmet perched in front of a parent or as many six individuals squished together (several of them toddlers or younger) on a single vehicle can be hard to take for granted. Below, some photographic evidence of the phenomenon.