The wonderful thing about living in India is how many unexpected, weird, cool and bizarre things that can happen to you at any moment and any time. Sometimes it can be particularly special and they happen all at once. For this reason I always have my camera on me where ever I go because you never know when the unexpected is going to happen – although having said that, I guess I’ve got to the point where I’m expecting something unexpected to happen, India has trained me to do so!
So a little bit of background on this one. Every morning I take a tuk-tuk to the office, I’ve previously written at length about these contraptions. Since coming to India 2 1/2 years ago (bloody hell!) I’ve seen a 40% increase in auto prices, but that’s a blog post for another day.
Like clockwork the auto’s will break down every 2-3 months leaving me stranded at a point half way between home and the office. It’s become such a regular occurrence that I now accept it as part of the risks of my journey. Also without fail 3 or 4 times a month the driver will swing in to a petrol station to fill up – the driver will never tell you before hand that they need to fill up, so if you are ever in an auto in India and you suddenly find yourself on a petrol forecourt, worry not, it’s quite normal.
Getting back to the story behind the video below…about 5 minutes in to journey the engine spluttered and failed. I wasn’t too concerned because this happens all the time and after a bit of f-ing and jeff-ing (Tamil style) they get the bugger to work again. However this time it seemed a bit more serious and after checking the engine at the back, the guy poked his head in to the passenger compartment and replied, “petrol got over, boss”.
The normal procedure when the auto breaks down is to get out and let the driver hail another auto for you, they do the negotiating based on what price you had agreed, you then give a portion to the first driver and the rest goes to the new driver. This was done as usual, but then as we set off, the new driver stuck out his right foot and with the strength of 10 men, started to push the other auto down the road. At first I thought they were just going to the end of the road since it was just a back street, but got increasingly alarmed as we got to the busier junctions which had cars, tuk-tuks, pedestrians, bicycles, motorbikes and cows pulling carts – not a place you want to be ‘towing’ an auto.
Anyway, my description doesn’t do it justice, so just have a look at the video. Road safety? That’s for weiners!
(Incase you are wondering about the confusing title of this blog post, if you want to say something has finished or you have run out of something in India, you say it “got over”. The auto ran out of petrol, so the driver turned to me and said “petrol got over, boss”).