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Silly Travel Photo – The Spanner Car Door Handle

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Yes, another Silly Travel Photo!

Today’s Silly Travel Photo is one that I took recently on my awesome month long Travel Blogging trip to Indonesia (you can view the feed of this trip here). And I had to look twice before I took the shot as I wasn’t quite sure that what I was seeing was true. But this is one of the joys of travelling on transport in the third world.

Anyway, this picture shows a great form of car mechanic improvisation that most of us in the first world will never deal with (note, I mean most!) – it’s the Spanner Car Door Handle!

Check it out below!

Silly Travel Photo - Spanner Car Door Handle

This silly travel photo was taken inside what is called an Angkot, a mini-van form of public transport in the southern Sumatran city of Palembang in Indonesia.  I was using this to get around Palembang a lot and they definitely do the job – I was transported from Point A to B in no time and was always charged the correct fare (after consulting some of the locals!)

Anyway, the van door in question was the front passenger seat door. I’m guessing that this front door was one that is often used because like most public transport in the third world, these vehicles don’t leave their parking spot for the proposed destination until they are full of customers. This could be four minutes, four hours, or four days (okay, maybe not short trips), but these transport entrepreneurs have figured out the most economical way to maximise their return on investment!

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When you live in third world countries, people have to improvise in any way they can, and this is an example.  Most of the time, you just can’t walk into an auto shop and expect the part that you need to be there. You make use of what you have which isn’t always the norm.  Also, sometimes, people cannot afford to buy spare parts. So they have to make to with what they can, which a lot of the time, is usually nothing!

But the Spanner Car Door Handle is nothing when compared to other automobile improvisations and other crazy auto things that I have heard of or have seen with my own two eyes. You know, things like going around the Arc De Triomphe in Paris, filling a Lamborghini with a jerry can, and driving a pick truck spray painted with Man Love is OK through some of the most conservative places in the United States. Or even worse, naming a car that means something derogatory in another language!

I’ve heard of stories in South Africa where mini-bus taxi drivers attach two plumbing wrenches to the steering column when there is a fault with the steering wheel (see my post about the Worst Drivers In The World).  I didn’t have the scary opportunity of capturing a wrench steering wheel for a Silly Travel Photo, but if you have, send it in! I would have been crapping myself if I had seen something like that with my own eyes! And I don’t really plan on wanting to either!

So there you go – this weeks’ Silly Travel Photo has some sort of meaning! Sometimes a wrench set will always work as a substitute handle!

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More Silly Travel Photo Stuff!

You can see more Silly Travel Photos at Weird World (Bradt Guides). My photo about the Be Nice To Health Worker Sign in the Malawi Hospital is in there!

The Spanner Car Door Handle is just one way improvisation can be used to fix your car. How many others have you come across?


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11 thoughts on “Silly Travel Photo – The Spanner Car Door Handle”

  1. Avatar Of Tim

    ha you have a great journey. 🙂 Btw, it seems like your RSS feed doesn’t work in my browser (I’m using google chrome)..can you fix it?

    1. Avatar Of John Mclaughlins
      John Mclaughlins

      Yeah, the quality is great.
      .-= John Mclaughlins´s last blog ..Where to Buy Civic Si Parts =-.

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  3. Avatar Of Ben @ Wooden Garage Doors
    Ben @ Wooden Garage Doors

    Great photo! Not sure I’d feel particularly safe in that car but maybe they don’t have the same health and saftey standards over there 🙂
    .-= Ben @ Wooden Garage Doors´s last blog ..Traditional Wooden Garage Doors =-.

  4. Avatar Of Casper Soul

    It’s all about how much you pay for a ride there. i used to spend $20 for an air condition car for whole day in that part of the world.

  5. Avatar Of John@Alloy Wheel Refurbishment
    john@alloy wheel refurbishment

    That’s what we call customer fitted accessories as oppose to company fitted one.I have seen people using transparent plastic sheets as their wind shields.So i am not surprised to see that as you can expect these sort of things in under developed countries.

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