Tuk Tuk Training

Still in Bangkok. Transportation office should open by the end of this week and we should be on our way towards the end of next week. As we have almost 17 000km ahead, our Tuk Tuk supplier thought that we should have some practise on driving and mechanics. Today was the third class.

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

First class was last week and it was disturbed by a thousand two hundred pilgrimaging monks, so we just drove 6 meters forwards, and 6 backwards, on a sidewalk, with no space to steer. Second class was a bit more exiting, we went straight in to the traffic of Bangkok. Pyry has driven his drivers licence here, so it went alright and he already managed to drive some with just two wheels on the ground 🙂 That was quite exiting.

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

I, on the other hand, felt like a rabbit turning in to roadkill. The Tuk Tuk is a vehicle of it’s kind and I have never driven anything that resembles it. The Gas pedal is in the handle, like motorbikes, but the pedals are like in a car. The shifting stick is between the legs and you have to waggle it with your left hand. As a driver you also sit on top of the engine, so even if you are driving a tuk tuk that doesn’t have an RPM gauge (as we are) you literally feel it in your guts when it’s time to shift. It also has three wheels, not a big surprise to anyone, but it really makes a difference on the steering.

I was quite afraid when I went on the road, but after the first ten seconds, Adrenaline took over, and gave me a really nice groove for the road. I found my space in the traffic, and all the other tuk tuk drivers were pointing fingers and laughing and cheering us on. There just aren’t too many falangs driving a tuk tuk here. I’ve done quite a many adrenaline shots in my life, but driving a tuk tuk in Bangkok gave me the best rush for years. Have to admit, I enjoyed every second of it.

Today was the third lesson, little bit more in the traffic, and learning to change tires. Tomorrow we’ll be changing brakes.