Saturday, 31 December 2011

Rules of the Road

The realities of this trip came upon me rather suddenly over the Christmas weekend. Only 3 more days left till I boarded a plane to India. Despite my careful planning, it still seemed like I had so much left to do, never mind all that Christmas stuff. I'm pretty sure I covered all the important things, but only time will tell.... aack.
Flash forward a few days and here I am sitting in the courtyard garden at Sangam World Centre. It is certainly an oasis in the bustling Pune city. All around me is the caucophony of new sounds...strange birds, voices of the local staff going about their dailie duties, bollywood music in the background, and the chaotic honking on the streets outside.
I knew to expect all the horn honking, but it really is quite something. It seems that this is how they communicate with each other, as there are no apparent rules of the road. I also haven't seen very many traffic lights. My first introduction to Indian driving came with the ride from the Mumbai airport a few days ago where I discovered that seat belts are merely for decorative purposes. Cars have belts only there is nowhere to buckle them in. Then there was the drive itself. Unlike at home where we have lanes we stay in, here they are merely guidelines of where to drive but everyone just weaves in an out of each other, always honking, sometimes signaling. This would not work in Canada but it sure seems to work here.
I tried to capture that first ride with a video, but it doesn't really do the trip justice. Just try to imagine moderate speeds with lots of weaving, honking, and sudden braking. There were many times where I could have stuck my arm out the window and shaken hands with someone in the vehicle beside us.

Last night we all piled into a few rickshaws to go out and celebrate the birthday of another Tare on the team. Another adventure of road travel in Pune.

One day soon I also hope to be able to cross the street without my blood pressure rising quite so much. Huge adventures are just around the corner on this Indian journey and I can't wait!


  1. So glad you're doing well! Yay! I especially give you points for using the word "caucophony"! Impressive! :)

  2. Great to read you are there safe & sound...and look forward to reading more of your new life in India!

  3. Congratulations on arriving safely, Nadia! I have just added the link on our Area website, so you should see an increase in 'followers' shortly!

    Looking forward to reading all about your adventures.