Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Honk if you love noise

In India, one of the culture shocks is on the way to the "guest house" from the airport. As for most foreigners, the first impression is between the airport and hotel. Even before I was in the car, I can hear a lot of honking sound on the road. Once on the road, I could hear a lot more honking. I could sense that they were honking for the right of way. Most Indian drivers were driving with their own styles. What I meant was, they do not follow the the lanes and pay no attention to the dashed line marking the lanes. Some drivers, e.g. lorry drivers were driving slowly in the fast lane.

Also, in India, you can see many other vehicles on the roads, even unmotorised vehicles such as three-wheelers bicycles (for the purpose of transporting goods), ox-pulled two wheelers, and even camels on the roads.

For most drivers, they have to navigate through the busy roads during rush hours and deal with all those unmotorised vehicles and inconsiderate drivers. Honking became a norm, a show of frustration, and an unnecessary source of pollution. City of Delhi even declared 1 Jan 2009 as "No Honking Day", in the effort to reduce honking in the city.

I know I am too nice of a driver to survive on roads in India.

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