Ahhh, brings back memories of untamed traffic in India. I know downtown Mysore is no match for Dhaka traffic, but I did actually ride a motorbike regularly in that throng, and I remember having to put my feet out to push away the rickshaws to avoid becoming part of the pavement! I think I have a better understanding of what a sardine might feel like, should two schools collide.
That’s what it felt like. I dug through and found this snippet from my journal relating to road rules ... "While I'm on the subject, I have a theory about how Indian roads work. We look at the highway and see two lanes, but for Indians there are five. The left most is for pedestrians, push bikes, motor bikes, autos and cattle drawn carts. The next is for cars, trucks and busses (kings of the road). The middle of the road is the overtaking lane, sometime in both directions at once. The 4th lane is for oncoming cars, buses and trucks, or sometimes the really impatient. The right most lane is for pedestrians, bikes, etc going the other way.
Road rules are based on size and speed. Motor bikes can often zip around most traffic, though on the better roads they are limited by their small engine size (175c is the largest bike you can buy unless you import it!) Buses and trucks are the masters of the highway, giving way to no-one, occasionally not even each other. This usually results in horrendous accidents. Overtaking involves one game of chicken after the next.
It can be pretty hair raising at times. Being run off of the road is always an option." I'm looking out the window now at the freeway in Brisbane, three very neat rows each side of evenly spaced cars and a few trucks, no cattle, push bikes, autos, ox-carts or foot traffic, all driving in the same direction, obediently contained within neatly marked out lines, an empty emergency lane to the side --- what a contrast! :-)
Most of what you’ll read here is life and fun, with episodes from my past, amusing and serious. But I have an unwelcome stranger lodged in my brain, as you’ll find if you explore my stories. Our destinies are interlocked, but its deadly presence reminds me every minute that each day of life is a miracle. This is my space to reflect on life, and an interactive area where we can share our experiences freely. Without you, this blog has no reason for existence. Carpe Diem!
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Friday, March 11, 2011
Scott's traffic tale - and my Sikh driver
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Yes..takes plenty of nerve! These days apparently there are a lot of road rage incidents (even murders) in Delhi, now many more people have cars.ReplyDelete
Love that decription of traffic lanes in India. On a bus journey several years ago when the big new highways that will cross the country and link the four main cities were still under construction, we were not surprised to see that despite the 3 lanes each side of a divided road, people still were driving into the oncoming traffic. We passed a horrible truck accident. This giant highway cut straight through the centre of little villages so that people were sitting drinking tea, or sleeping on their charpoys, right on the verge (looking merely interested or just sleeping!)
I loved William Dalrymple's tales of his Sikh taxi driver in Delhi, in his book 'City of Djinns'.