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  • chrisvollan

The Street Dance:

Walking, driving, biking and riding on the roads in India is really a dance. A constant and aggressive flow where everyone appears to know their place and pace. It’s elegant when you start watching it in the macro.

Advice I’ve received: maintain a constant speed while walking so everyone can predict your movement. No sudden moves!

Roundabouts are everywhere, and here the dance is aggression and coordination, and honking, lots and lots of honking, but used for coordination rather than irritation.  It’s a “I’m coming up behind you” or “I’m sticking my nose in here so you five or ten cars are going to let me in” vs the North American honk of annoyance.  And literally, you just drive in to the mess and keep plowing through.

Best example, women with three kids in tow and a massive tin canister of milk on her had, crossing a jammed four lane highway without a care, or a side glance. This, is skill!

Sidebar: a four lane divided highway is actually six lanes, cuz you can apparently drive the wrong way on the edge of the road (half pavement, potholes and dirt).

Passing lane, should be the right hand lane as we are driving on the right hand side here, but again, no rules and you honk and pass wherever you fit, and the “dance” is timing vehicle speed and distance (and size) going with and against you.

Cars, bikes, tuk tuks, carts and freight trucks come within centimeters but I haven’t seen a single contact between any.

There are no rules, but everything works!

It’s so much more elegant than driving in NA which is so, linear and staccato (start-stop-go-stop).

That said, there is still no way in hell I would get behind the wheel in India!

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