A Desi Guide to: Driving in India
Deepak bought a scooty for me. It is my first big step towards becoming independent in India. Going to my favourite restaurants and shops- driving all by myself. The thought of shopping independent of my husbands mood for chauffeuring me around – gives me wings.
Indian traffic – especially in Pune – is complete chaos. Nowhere have I seen traffic like this before. Italian traffic is as close as it gets, but even there rules are more or less followed. After being part of the Indian traffic for a while I truly believe that Punekars find their driving license in a cereal box. Sure there are rules but I hardly see someone following them.
Driving against traffic – no issue. Parking in the middle of the road – no issue. Jumping a red light – no issue and indicators are for beginners.
Before I was let loose in traffic I had to follow some driving lessons – given by husband-ji.
- This is the most important one – forget all the rules and regulations once learned.
- Honk, honk and when your not sure what to do, honk a bit more
- Politeness in Indian traffic does not get you anywhere, so be blunt. Sometimes even rude
- Expect the unexpected.
Driving a scooty in India requires an unique outfit which is mostly worn by woman. Glasses to prevent the dust of getting in your eyes. And a scarf which is tied in this way around the face to make sure your hair does not get all funky.
Cows and buffaloes roam freely on the roads. If they are in your way, a gentle honk might help. I am still a bit afraid to drive to close to cows and buffalo’s. They always look relaxed, but I have seen one running once! They are pretty fast and my speed is not such yet that I can out-drive them. The circle I take around them is bigger then the experienced driver.
Sometimes even an elephant can been seen roaming the streets of Pune. It freaked me out a bit at first, now I am more or less used to it. The circle I drive around the elephant is just a bit bigger.
I have seen weird things being transported by bike or scooty. But this did win by all means. This is the best I could do, trying to snap a pic from the goat on the bike from a driving car on a bumby road with a grumpy husband driving.
Dogs like driving in a car and hanging with their had out the window for some reason. This guy decided to take it one step further and took his pet as a passenger on a bike. Kudos to this guy and his dog!