Driving

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All I can say is thank goodness I am not driving in India, because I can’t even compete with the drivers here!  First of all, Indian drivers drive on the left side of the road.   Second, they honk as if their lives depend on it.  And third, traffic jams are insane!  The streets are filled with small cars, tractors pulling heavy loads behind them, gigantic trucks, millions of motorcycles, people pushing carts, and even the occasional cow or camel.  The vehicles are so jam-packed with people that there are even individuals standing on the back bumpers of cars and riding on the tops of trucks.  In the city, the streets are always full and busy with zooming, honking cars, and the country roads are rough and narrow.  In America, if a car drove past another and was only inches away, the drivers would most likely freak out. 

In India, if a car is only a few inches away from another car, it means one car can move closer another inch or two.  One of the most bizarre things to see is “please honk” painted on the backs of large trucks.  Honking in America usually only happens when the driver is angry with road rage, impatience or in emergencies, but in India, honking usually is a way of telling other drivers that you are there behind or beside them.  So far, I have seen gigantic trucks only inches away from my car window while passing them on country roads and I have been stuck in the center of a traffic jam where our car was literally the center of a huge traffic circle.  The funny thing is, I feel very safe with my excellent Indian drivers and being a passenger in India is pretty fun.  There is always someone honking, zooming between lanes, headed straight towards you on the wrong side of the road, and any other crazy situations you might be able to think of.

I am so blessed to have drivers that will take my group and I places when needed, because I would not survive Indian traffic if I were the driver.  If these Indian drivers were to come to America and drive, they would probably be the safest people to drive with because they are very skilled and are prepared for anything to happen.  No matter what people might say about driving in India, that it is dangerous and scary, it is weird and unusual, or it is crazy and makes people sick, one thing that can be said is that India has some very skilled drivers!

-Landi Mello

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  • Shahna Duerksen

    When I lived in Delhi, India I learned to drive a stick-shift car. So fun driving on those roads, honking the horn and learning the “system” of driving (yes believe it or not their is a system). Driving in the U.S. is just plain boring, quiet and no fun compared with driving in India.

  • Margaret Duerksen

    Yes, Shahna, and I remember driving with you right after we landed in India. You were shifting with your left hand and you dove into the other side of the road because there was less traffic. Talk about heart attack!!