Bangkok’s traffic jams are well known and the best way to avoid them is to use the subway (MRT) or the Skytrain (BTS). Both are easy to use, quick, clean, air conditioned, comparably cheap and really well organized. So much nicer than sitting in a taxi surrounded by hundreds or thousands of cars, which hardly move.
Yet another easy way to move through the rows of standing cars, is the use of a motorbike. I have become a bit friendly with motorbike taxis and occasionally use one, especially when there is less traffic. But I have not got used to sharing the motorbike with several other people, as many people here do. For many families, a motorbike is like a car, and can transport up to four persons, mother, father and two kids; or mother/father and three kids, from youngest to oldest. It does look a bit scary though to see a mother or father transporting several kids on her/his motorbike: one in the front, and two in the back, and none of them is wearing a helmet. Even the smallest kids are placed on the motorbike, and even those who have not really woken up in the morning, but need to get to school. What if one of the kids falls off, because it cannot hold on tight enough to the driver? Or if one of the big 4WD crashes with a motorbike?
Despite the seeming chaos on the streets here, despite the many cars and even more motorbikes, despite the sometimes crazy taxi drivers (some think they are rally drivers), and despite the frequent use of cell phones (yes taxi drivers race ahead and talk in their phones at the same time), I have so far not seen an accident, heard an ambulance or a police car. Maybe drivers are very observant and accidents are rare? Or maybe I have just been lucky so far or happened to be somewhere else when an accident occurred? But then, how would the police car or ambulance even manage to get through to an accident when the streets are so completely clogged?