Last week, I was
whining sharing about the roads here. I got some nerve! My Key West friend Marina just returned from India… she says:
You ain’t seen nuthin’ til you do India.
Bumper-to-bumper cars, buses, taxis, trucks, bicycles, motor scooters, motorcycles, tuk-tuks, elephants, cows, donkeys, horses, camels – and then, all the same with carts, small, medium and large, and even pedestrians – all weaving in and out of every available little opening, 4 vehicles abreast, no lines, no lights, no regulations, no enforcement.
And that’s in the cities on pavement, where the air quality is minus 10 from exhaust, wood burning, cow paddy burning, and dust, because it doesn’t rain 8 mos. of the year and there’s no wind to clear the air. Walls beyond the shoulders are lined with Langur monkeys taking in the entire scene – with amazement? – amusement?
Out of the cities, all is the same except the road is only wide enough for one way so vehicles play chicken and at last moment veer onto the shoulders, and because of the rocks, pits and every imaginable hazard in the road, you are jostled about in your seat, clinging to the grab bar on the seat in front of you, lurching from side to side or having your knees thrown into the seat in front of you from the constant braking and re-starting.
I’m exhausted just remembering it.
Our tour bus had one accident, hitting the back of a heavy metal transport cage vehicle, wrecking the front of the bus, but no damage to the struck cage.
Fortunately, but for one 6.5 hr. drive, most drives were 3.5 to 4 hrs, punctuated by bathroom stops. If you haven’t done roadside bathroom stops in Asia, I should tell you that you straddle a hole, hope for the best, and ladle water into the hole after you make your deposit.
However, the trip was worth it all, though I should have done it twenty years ago.
Unbelievably, it all sounds so very strange and enticing…