I suppose if we lived in Indonesia the bemos (mini buses) would drive us up a wall.
They're all over the road, traffic rules (are there any?) be damned. They're stinky - not a lot of emission standards in effect on the islands. Bemos are loud, mufflers growling and music blasting out of their open windows and doors at decibel levels high enough to rattle eardrums. And if you're not a local fares are, um .... fluid.
But bemos are so cool.
We stand on a Padang curb at dusk and can't help but smile at the parade. Each bemo is different, every one a statement.
Drivers and the guys who sit alongside, collecting money from passengers, take a lot of pride in their rides. They're the Indonesian equivalent of Los Angeles' lowriders.
In Padang bemos grudgingly share the road with horse-drawn carts, motos, and many a kaki lima (literally, 'five feet' - the three of the cart and the two of the food vendor who pushes it).
Kaki lima owners take as much care to personalize their 'wheels' as bemo owners do.
Padang has a surprisingly strident skateboard culture. This practice ramp is set up in front of a surf and skateboard store at a bend in the road that sees regular traffic jams. The whoosh and slam of skateboarders riding the curve back and forth is accompanied by the thump-thump of bemo sound systems.
Stalking bemos makes us hungry. A bowl of tasty beef soto does the trick.
It's a food blog, after all.