(After trying for nearly 5 days to upload this post, I have finally succeeded…ah the joys of living in the jungle. That being said, there’s a new photo challenge up so I’ll be adding another post asap while my Internet seems to be working!)
This one was tough for me because since arriving in Southeast Asia seven months ago, there are many things that once seemed “unusual” to me but are now just normal. I had to dig through my photos to find something that fit the bill, and while there are plenty of unusual flora and fuana here, I decided to stick to something based on a social point of view.
The above is a public bus. It is common to see these buses filled to the top (literally) with locals as well as school children. The students are often sitting on each others’ laps and piled in the spaces between seats. Additionally, you will often see them riding on top of the vehicle as well. I don’t think any amount of time will ever get me to consider these unsafe conditions for children to be “usual.” I will always consider such practices to be anything but normal, especially when I work with such smart and competent people and know that such people also make up the faculty at the other schools throughout this country. In fact, based on my experiences, some of the most forward thinking people in Indonesia work in education, and so it seems to me that they would agree that students riding on the tops of vans is not safe nor is it smart…and for this reason, I find this practice incredibly unusual.