I’ll never complain about traffic in Austin again.* The most under appreciated person in India is the one who paints the lane lines. Three lanes? Sure we can fit 5 vehicles across here. In the three major cities we’ve travelled to so far (Delhi, Agra and now Jaipur) I don’t recall a single traffic signal, but only roundabouts. The flow of traffic is more like water in a narrowing stream.. passing left and right, constant merging from every angle. And then the horns. There’s a saying in India about driving: “Good horns. Good brakes. Good luck!” Horns are used whenever someone intends to overtake/pass, which means CONSTANTLY. Amelia and I played a game yesterday where if we heard a horn we’d squeeze each other’s hands. She squeezed if our driver honked and I squeezed if anyone else did. I let her know in advance perhaps this won’t be fair, but she said no, trust me he’s honking as much as anyone. During rush hour you can literally be 6 inches apart from vehicles on all sides. Bicycles, motorized rickshaws, cars & buses. And there are mopeds everywhere. It would only take you minutes to see 3 or 4 generations of a single family on the same moped (grandma, husband & wife & infant). If you’re lucky the driver will have a helmet but I guarantee none of the children do. Fortunately I haven’t seen one accident yet, but every car in India has scratched bumpers and sides. It is said “if you car doesn’t have scratches in India you must be a boring person” meaning you obviously never have left the house. And then there’s the animals who share the road! Amelia wasn’t kidding in her previous post. In order of size here are the animals we’ve been within feet of on the highways and city roads: chickens, cats, monkeys, dogs, peacocks, goats, pigs, cows, horses, water buffaloes , camels and yesterday an elephant in the next lane. A freaking elephant at rush hour. Wish us luck!
*of course I’ll still complain about Austin traffic when I return.