Wednesday, 1 July 2020

distinguishing signs of vehicles in international traffic

Aside from a brief period in the tumult of the 1980s when the Republic was coerced into an uneasy compact with other Polynesian nations formerly claimed under the domain of the United States and treated as a trust territory, receiving development assistance in exchange for hosting nuclear testing and forward operating bases, when national plates were issued since devolved again to the responsibility and oversight of the several states, each island and atoll group of Palau is free to design and determine the conventions of its vehicle registration system.
Varying highly by composition, remoteness and population, fourteen out of sixteen states have populations of under five hundred and there are a little over seven thousand cars and trucks registered and roadworthy. This sample from the state of Ngiwal (population 282) and features the coat-of-arms and the registry number—all of which begin with the prefix K79, first K for the native Kiuluul people and their reputation as gourmands, reportedly eating seven meals and nine soups daily, having originated from the stomach according to legend from a mythical figure known as the Insatiable Uab. A parable on sustainability, especially from an insular perspective threatened by sea-level rise, the creature with the prodigious appetite had to put down, dramatically exploding into the map of Palau after seeing the effects of his greed. There’s a gallery of plates to explore at the link above, in that same constellation and further afield as well, but none I think with quite such a developed narrative.