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Playing chicken and a camel

I mentioned in my post about what I learned in India that driving around is like one massive game of chicken. It’s really, really crazy. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Technically there are rules, but I think they’re more generally understood than hard and fast rules like we have in the US. For example, honking your horn means “I’m trying to pass you, get out of the way” and flashing your lights mean “We’re coming straight at each other and I am not going to be the one to get out of the way.”

Even traffic lights can have several different meanings. And if there’s not someone there to catch you? Red lights are basically optional.

I was ever amazed at all the skill the drivers had zipping in and out of traffic and squeezing an impossible amount of cars into the tiniest of spaces. Things didn’t always go so well though.

Ho.ly. crap.

India has over 1 billion people. It’s well on it’s way to surpassing China in population. However, the land mass of India compared to China is far smaller. That means there are people jam packed everywhere. Nothing makes this more evident than transportation.

This gives you an idea, although this was one of the more open streets I saw.

As you can imagine it made for some interesting rides, especially since they don’t believe in seat belts. Ever.

Notice the tense energy behind our smiles. And the fact we were holding on for dear life.

My favorite way to get around was by rickshaw. Or Auto.

It had the best natural “air conditioning” and I felt more a part of the city when I was in them.

I loved watching everything zoom past.

It was also fun because no two looked exactly alike. Every driver put their own personality into the artwork on the back.

The very best part of them though? Seeing how many people they could squeeze inside.

They’re built for four. HA!

I’m fairly sure there’s always room for just one more.

This philosophy applies to the buses too. Notice the people riding on top? That’s because the inside was full. Obviously being full is not a reason not to ride.

One way many get around that I didn’t get to experience was by motorcycle. In India, riding on a motorcycle is a family affair.

The tiniest kids got to “drive” the motorcycles. I saw babies that I’m sure weren’t old enough to walk driving them. Crazy scary. For me to observe anyway. It was normal to them.

Oh, and no traffic post would be complete without a picture of my favorite vehicle I saw while I was there.

Camels are the new Lexus.

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5 Comments

  1. What an amazing adventure, I've always dreamed of traveling India and I feel like I'm vicariously living through you by reading your blog. This is making me all the more determined to go there some day.

  2. Wow… I love all your India stories… I think most countires drive nuts and then we wonder why the cab drivers can't drive and sit on their horn, just look where they learned how to do it… amazing photos

    • I think you're right, especially in 3rd world countries. I haven't been everywhere, but so far India has been the craziest as far as driving goes. It sure made things exciting.

  3. Wow, how neat! You have such neat stories & pictures to share! 🙂

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