So these are some observations I have while driving in India (well Goa, but I doubt it is different elsewhere!).
1. No-one drives on the left side of the road -In fact everyone usually drives in the middle.
I had originally thought this was due to limbs of trees leaning into the centre of the road but as this only occurs in a very few places I got that wrong!
Obviously there are no lines of any colour (dotted or otherwise) down the middle of the road – This I am certain because it would confuse all and sundry, with people possibly trying to drive tight-rope style along them. Two or three- wheeled vehicles such as bikes and tuk-tuks may be more adept at this enterprise but the 4 wheelers would really hate them for this expertise and it could cause accidents from road-rage!
2. Bus stops are seemingly all situated on corners.
This is presumably for ease of picking up a passenger – after all they may decide to come charging full pelt around the corner from a number of directions if they are late and running to catch the bus I assume. This helps them not to miss the bus.
Sometimes these bus stops are actually close to a roundabout (though I have yet to see one actually ON a roundabout!). This also makes for interesting viewing as to the interplay with who runs over the road or who gets run over!
Mind you I have yet to see anyone in India running for anything so ………..!?
3. Many Indians do not seem to understand that the lights that flicker on the left and right side of the vehicle are called indicators.
Either that or they do not understand what the word INDICATOR means. They use these on occasion (and sometimes by accident) but NOT for the purpose I was taught to use them. I was taught to indicate when I am proceding to turn or I am pulling over. So if I want to go right I flash the right light, etc.
Not so here, Oh no! Here they flash to the right when they are moving left or to the left when they are moving right.. Alternatively they may flash to signal to you to pass them – this is also the French way I believe? However, this is rare. Mostly they just don’t use them and NEVER use them when pulling over – then they just stop in front of you!
This makes driving in India very exciting as sometimes when I indicate to turn right the bike or car behind thinks I am telling them to pass me (OR that I am going to turn left….WTF!!??) so they then try to overtake me and we play chicken side on!!!
4. On the subject of lights – bicycles don’t have them!!!
However, there will be a profusion of cyclists in the evenings – mostly the cyclists will be wearing dark clothing so that the chances of hitting one of them is greatly increased after dark – anyone wants to add to their points rating in this area should visit India therefore.
5. Headlights (dipped – in what – aspic?)
I have decided that no-one understands the real use ofheadlights although all motorised vehicles do seemto have them. They are VERY IMPORTANT items for the driver as they can be used to flash at oncoming traffic to tell you to “Get out of my way I am coming at you!” They can also be used to light up the roadway and blind oncoming drivers forcing them sometimes to pull over and completely stop,
One thing that no-one ever seems to do though is to use the actual “dip” function for anything other than to use as part of a flash!
So I have to assume that most times the only reason Indian drivers do any “dipping” is when they check their oil levels!
6. The taxi buses (as they are known)
These are black and yellow small cabs and charge very little for you to take a ride with them.
I believe this may be why they may be SO popular with the locals. Add to that the fact that they manage to get as many as up to 10 people in and this makes for a game of musical seats and fondling which is not classed as illegal in a taxi it seems. Granted they often let the women sit in front and the men behind but they are still on top of each other.
Hence there are a lot of strange sounds amidst the chatter in these vehicles as the passengers sweat and heave about, as the car proceeds along, stopping and picking up as many as they can manage.
So those my thoughts on trafficking in India today – it is enough sometimes to make you think you are on drugs!