Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The size of a bridge can never really tell of its importance until one sits there and sees the visitors and the users fight for a spot across any given obstacle. Something the size of a small private pond-hopper is barely noticed in a full-size covered-bridge-rich environment... it is a different story in those regions of the globe which never had to deal with hordes of 1958 Buicks!
So when you visit the more modest covered spans of, lets say, Malaysia... one must realize there was never a need for large structures to be built for vehicular traffic was modest and ferry-boats did a fine job on the larger rivers. But what you will find today is no less important. Those smaller structures are amazing testimony to the long tradition of building bridges with roofs out of the local material most plentiful and cheap... wood!
Vehicular traffic in Indonesia and Malaysia came late and only started on a larger scale after the last world-war. Present day Malaysia and Borneo offer visitor amazingly well maintained roads and traveling there is always a great journey of discovery! I never expected to find covered bridges in Malaysia, all the sudden, I was in the middle of a region where these things are as common as the houses they provide access to. And now it seems that the same is also true in Borneo.
More exploration is definitely needed.
As I drove between Melaka and Singapore that day, passed Muar on my way to Yong Peng, these Food Stands started looking ... like small covered bridges!
WAIT.... they are NOT food stands, the food-stands are behind on the properties. These were covered bridges made for the local traffic, capable of taking a small lorry and a few cars, bikes, people, and whatever animal was being raised by the owners.
These structures are vital to the life of the region. Their importance cannot be dismissed on their sizes. They are HUGELY IMPORTANT!
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