Chinese & Japanese Characters on Pakistani Transport

Owais Mughal

Over the past few years, Chinese and Japanese characters have increasingly appeared on Pakistani public transport as decorations. On my recent visits to Pakistan, I’ve been constantly amused by these decorations and took some photos. I’ve been fortunate to have a Chinese language expert at home as my wife so we enjoy reading a lot of these decorative instructuction markings, which at times do not even make sense. Few examples are given below:

(1) I took following photo on Jan 10, 2007 in Federal-B-Area, Karachi. It shows a school van and I am very happy to announce that Japanese characters on the front also say the same. Somebody did the research beofore buying this sticker. It roughly means ‘Automobile for School’.

 

 

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The Rickshaw

Owais Mughal

Today we’lldo an in depth analysis of the Pakistani motor rickshaw.

The motor- (sometimes auto-) rickshaw was invented by the Reverend Jonathan Scobie, an American Baptist minister living in Yokohama, Japan. The first model was built in 1869 in order to transport his handicapped wife. Today it remains as one of the most important modes of transportation in Pakistan where it was first seen on August 14, 1947. Before that it was not possible to see it in Pakistan.

The three- wheel- design of a rickshaw provides it a better road grip than a bicycle. It also provides gasoline savings when compared with a 4-wheeler taxi and green salad saving when compared with a 4-legged horse. When in need of repairs, the three-wheel structure also helps in lifting it from any side. When a side is lifted, it conveniently sits down on the other two while a mechanic goes looking for underbelly mechanical faults.

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