Friday, April 26, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
It’s hard not to think you’re going to die when you hit the road in India. Aside from the fact that, from an American perspective, they drive on the wrong side of the road, no logic is apparent on Indian streets and highways. I asked our guide Devender about this and he admitted Indians drive erratically. “Driving isn’t tested in India because there are far too many people,” he explained. “An instructor would have to test four to five hundred people a day and that just isn’t possible, so we all learn on our own.”
This becomes interesting when the roads are choked with cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, tuk tuks (motorized rickshaws that swarm like locusts) camel-pulled carts, sacred cows, goats and the occasional elephant, not to mention people walking in the streets.
The sound of traffic is deafening; a cacophony of blaring distraction. Horns are used to let others know your location. A driver on a moped with three other family members (no helmets) doesn’t jump out of his skin if a bus creeps up from behind and lays on the horn. The driver simply moves into oncoming traffic to let the bus pass. Many times it appeared that our bus driver was playing chicken with vehicles barreling toward us at high speed.
Also, there are a lot of quarries in India, and while driving through them you do not want to be seated in the back of the bus. Riding a camel is a lot less painful. I never saw a traffic cop in India, yet I never saw an accident, no collisions of any kind.
This seemed to be the order of things concerning animals in traffic:
#1 Drive around cows and do not honk at them; they are sacred. Indians firmly believe in
reincarnation. The cow you’re disturbing might have been related to you in a previous life.
#2 Nudge goats and lambs out of the way with the bumper of your vehicle.
#3 Dogs are everywhere but they’re too smart and nimble to get hit by moving traffic.
#4 Cats hate India and are not to be found. Monkeys might have eaten them all.
For the rest of this post, travel to the new Chubby Chatterbox (here) and sign up for my India Adventure Give-a-way.