our engines sound like a swarm of mechanical wasps, buzzing and waiting for action. the sun beats down on our skins. the heat is reflected off the hot asphalt. our number grows by the second as more and more motorbikes edge their way to the front of the column.
we are students and farmers, accountants and soldiers. girls with headscarves, girls with piercings. young men in suits, young men in black t-shirts. old men in batik, old ladies in batik. singles on their motorbike. young couples on their motorbike. families of five on their motorbike.
the bikes and helmets display an eclectic melange of stickers: scatological messages, religious texts, anarchist slogans. heavy metal bands, nightclubs, spongebob squarepants.
some of us are gazing around. some are smoking. some are fixing their make-up. some are sending smses. all are waiting for the signal.
then it comes: GREEN!!! simultaneously, we all twist our right wrists and turn our accelerators south. those who react half a nanosecond too slow are mercilessly honked down.
its now a dog-eat-dog race. bikes overtaking you on the left, bikes overtaking you on the right. oncoming traffic on both sides of you. the sidewalks become auxiliary lanes for overtaking the slow. dust, exhaust fumes, noise...
...until we reach the next stoplight.