MadTV: The journal

Letter from India IV
I can’t recall if we have told you about the daily excitement of India
when it comes to their roads. Whether you are being driven down them,
crossing over them, walking alongside them or indeed sitting several
metres away from them, you can be certain that they will be having an
impact on you in one way or another.

India’s road system is very much like our own, they have traffic
lights, road markings (sometimes), tarmac and they drive on the same
side. Doesn't it sound very civil? In reality this is where any
comparison to 'driving' ends.

As most of you will know, i am a computer gaming addict, and one of my
favourite all time series of games is Grand theft Auto. The object of
the game (in a nutshell) is to drive as fast as possible around the
streets completing various missions. Little did I realise back home in
'jolly ole England’ that GTA is actually the blueprint for the India
driving test.

Indian roads (like most in the world) have 2 lanes of traffic, one
going forward and the other coming at you; these are generally
'single' carriageways. In India this is a trifling detail as anyone
can see that if you use the whole road you can easily fit 3, 4 or
maybe even 5 vehicles abreast and heading in the same direction. This
makes for very entertaining moments when you meet the oncoming traffic
(also 5 abreast). It is worth noting at this point that the Indians,
despite having indicators fitted to their cars; communicate all but
one traffic manoeuvre via use of the horn. I am yet to decipher what
the cacophony of hooting, parping, tooting and blaring of horns means
but i am becoming convinced that the level of communication
distributed by the horn is so complex it makes the songs of whales
seem as simple as a nursery rhyme.
The 'other' manoeuvre that I mention (the one not covered by the horn)
is the flashing of lights, this quite simply means - I know I am on
your side of the road and driving very fast, but would you mind
awfully pulling over a little further because I’m buggered if I’m
slowing down for you.

Needless to say being driven in India is a joy we look forward to
everyday and (touch wood) as yet we have not even been involved in a
minor bump.

In Goa I have now seen 4 westerners with broken legs hobbling about on
their Indian crutches, these injuries are no doubt sustained from the
British desire to 'saddle up' one of the many mopeds available and
drive headlong into the insanity of the Indian traffic the moment they
touch down at the airport.

I imagine the scene is very similar to this
'Christ bob they don’t arf drive fast round here'
'don’t worry love I’ve driven thru London it'll be alright'
'is there enough room to overtake here?'
'yeah love look that nice blokes flashing me through'

We are off to arrange some train tickets to mumbai for when we leave
India, followed by a gentle stroll along the beach (no doubt stopping
in the many beach bars littered across the area).

See you all soon
or as they say in India

Beep Beep, Honk, toot

Keith & Saara


Gone Away
I'm sorry they're leaving India - this travel series has been very entertaining and funny. But that's Keith for you; a great sense of humour.
Date Added: 24/12/2004

Sounds a little like driving in Massachusetts. I often find myself trying to offer the driver going in the opposite direction the left half of the road if he would only allow me to use the right half. But I have yet to meet a driver who didn't have the right of way regardless of the traffic situation. Therefore, if he wants to use my half of the road due to some obstruction on his half, it is my duty, as the person who is not him, to climb up a curb or a tree until he passes.
This is why I insist on stopping to let people out of side streets and parking spots, thereby angering and inciting other drivers and I wave
them all off with the simple greeting "it's just another Christmas miracle".

Date Added: 24/12/2004

It's hard to wave to Ned up there and keep a straight face.
Date Added: 24/12/2004

Never fear I have several more letters from India (I've been rationing them) and of course there will then be letters from Thailand.
Date Added: 24/12/2004

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