Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You've heard of Indian traffic, right?


 Oh boy. So last time I was in India, the traffic scared the hell out of me. I was usually yelling at husband to slow down, stop following so close, please don't hit the pedestrians, I can't watch this! Surprisingly, I felt safer on the motorcycle as it is able to swerve in between and around and felt like less of a coffin. We had a few close calls, and got hit five times, just little bumps and nudges, where you just stop, glare at the other driver and move on.

 This time, the traffic is more like a video game, where I am enjoying the seamless beauty of swerving, darting, shuffling, hedging, and honking, gasping at close calls and itching to be my own driver. Oh to tackle it and conquer! I would do this, not that, go here, dodge there, jump through that opening, squeeze in between those trucks, pass this loser, fall back now, grin maniacally at my fellow contestants, exhilarated, and loving how alive driving is here.

But accidents do happen and I experienced my first one last night.

 On the motorcycle, Husband and I were heading to a baby's first birthday party, and another motorbike turned into our lane without looking at all, and slammed right into us. Husband tried to slow down, but there was no where to swerve to as the median was on our other side. It all seemed in slow motion to me, the bike falling over, the other bike and two passengers almost on top of us, skidding down the road. No helmets. When we came to a stop, Husband jumped up and pulled me up, pulled the bike up, moved us over to the side of the road, and we were instantly surrounded by at least thirty people, watching me cry as Husband used my water bottle to wash off my bleeding elbow. I don't recall what he said to the other bikers, I was kind of shocked that my video game turned harmful, and was grateful that we were both fine and that it was late, around 11pm, so there was less other traffic to worry about as we were skidding and laying there, and getting up and moving to the side of the road. Of course no police were called, no accident reported, no exchanging of insurance information. We just hopped back on the bike and went to the party.

 This morning, there is a bumpy bruise on one knee, and one of my toes is paining. Husband is fine, and says "This is India, babes!" meaning that this is common and we just glare at the other driver and move on.

 Oh India. How I love the way this country will take an observer and make them an active participant. You cannot be apathetic in India.


  1. WHEW!!!!! Glad that you and hubby are okay! take care des!

  2. I'm sure you've already seen this, but I feel it cannot be shared enough. The Indian Rules of the Road:

    I can't help but laugh at it every time I read it.

  3. Oh my lord, that is perfect! So hilarious! I love it!

  4. Sorry to hear about the accident but glad that it was not worse.

    I don't know if you even realize that, but you seem to have woven yourself into the fabric of India in ways other than negotiating traffic. You said, "... one of my toes is paining". "Paining"(instead of hurting) is classic Indian English :)