…It has a different way of thinking.
So often things happen in India, and it just makes me wonder “what was going through your mind when you were doing that”. For example, standing on the roof of a building and using a pneumatic drill to dismantle the roof.
Granted, stupidity isn’t confined to a single country as the Darwin awards attest to.
Anyways, another classic example of how Indians think differently was demonstrated on Sunday when, not for the first time, I was nearly ran over by a family on a motorbike.
As I walked to the shops to do my weekly shopping, I walk down a very quiet road. If there are two cars on the road, that’s a bit unusual.
Still, TII, you have to be constantly aware of what’s going on around you because the traffic can come from anywhere. Yes, really anywhere. You can’t walk on the pavements because a) there are no pavements b) the pavement is now someone’s home or area of business c) the pavement is covered by building material for the apartment that’s being build across the road d) the state of the pavement makes it more dangerous than walking on the road.
As a kid in England, from the moment you start school you are given lessons and made to watch videos on the simple task of crossing the road.
Is carved in to your very being as the message is repeated over and over.
This from a country where people obey the traffic lights, there are pedestrian crossings every where and towns and cities are more people friendly than car friendly.
So, armed with my A+ in how to cross a road I approached a crossing on Sunday. I stopped, I looked and saw a motorbike coming, So I stood at the side of the road and waiting for it to pass.
This Is India.
Instead of carrying on as he should have done, the motor bike started veering towards me, until the guy was virtually slowed to a halt as he tried to avoid me. I looked at the guy, looked at the otherwise empty cross roads and was speechless.
Similarly, the guy on the motorbike was similarly speechless.
And this is why.
When you cross a road in India, the traffic swerves to (hopefully) avoid you. Crossing the road is not a case of Stop, Look, Listen and Wait. It’s a case of putting one arm out to the side of you with your palm facing up telling the traffic to avoid you. You then walk across the road without looking and definitely without stopping.
So, why was this guy speechless? He was expecting me to do the ‘usual’ thing and carry on walking, and he had already made the mental adjustment to be in a place I wouldn’t be had I carried on walking.
Different country. Different way of thinking.