Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Streetcar Named... "Holy Crap, Are You Gonna Stop!?!"

I've never considered myself to be much of a risk-taker. I've always been cautious and have never felt the urge to put my life in danger for a rush of adrenaline. Living in Bangalore though, I risk my life everyday. No, I'm not talking about terrorism or kidnapping or being carried away by a giant mosquito. I'm talking about crossing the streets of Bangalore. Laugh all you like, it is a terrifying experience. Indian streets are like little, linear worlds of chaos. Motorcycles and rickshaws dart in and out of traffic, families of three or even four are piled onto a single bike, and driving into oncoming traffic is no big deal. There is an entire language of honking. People honk when they're passing, when someone is in the way, when another car is about to hit them, or sometimes they honk just for the sake of honking. It is very interesting (and noisy).

Crossing the street is like playing a real-life game of Frogger. There are four lanes of traffic and the idea of stopping for a pedestrian is merely a suggestion. To cross, one has to wait until there is a gap, run across the first lane, stop at the center line, wait for another gap, cross to the median, and do the whole thing over again. You can try to wait until there is a lull in traffic, but during rush hour you just have to go and pray that they stop for you, or at least go around you.

1 comment:

  1. OMFG!!! That sounds so scary!!! You should put on a frog costume and film it :-P. For your next post, could you relate your experience at an Indian food mart???? I think that would be super fun.