Hey I just got here, and I’ve almost been run over twice! The driving here is insane! What can I do to keep from becoming a greasy stain on the roads?
From, Dodging Traffic in Manipal!
Dear Artful Dodger,
You only had two cars almost run you over? Why were you walking at 3 AM?
But to answer your question, you just have to remember a few simple things.
First, “speed limit” here means how fast the engine will go.
Second, drivers here will not stop for you, dogs, other cars, trucks, potholes, or red lights.
Third, horns are used in India to express a wide range of messages, such as “I am coming”; “I am leaving”; “I am turning”; to “You are in my way” and “This vehicle has a horn.”
You will also notice that the basic law of physics, “Two objects cannot occupy the same space” is fully refuted here. It’s an amazing thing to witness a seemingly endless line of people emerging from a tiny car And you may think that a motorcycle can only fit two people at most but the sight of one driving past you with five people on it is something you would pay money to see back home.
The key thing to keep in mind, whether you’re driving or walking, is to be careful. In the US, you rest assured in the knowledge that if a driver hits you, you can engage in the national pastime and sue the driver for enough money to retire and buy that solid gold toilet you always wanted. Here however; if someone hits you, they’ll pull you off the bumper and hammer out some dents – and that’s only if they’re not in too much of a hurry.
On a final note, it may seem that the bus drivers are aiming for you, but that may just be me. White guys are worth an extra 50 points after all.