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November 1, 2007

India Trip Part 2

Filed under Travel

Probably the most unbelievable aspect of my trip to Bangalore, India was the insane traffic.

Here are a collection of short clips I made during one commute across town...

As the crow files, it wasn't even 9 miles from our hotel to our destination...but it took over two hours to make the journey on average. Our fastest time was just over an hour. Our longest time was when it was raining...more than 2 and a half hours.

There is a lot of honking going on...but it isn't from irritated drivers like we have in San Francisco. It's "polite" honking to let people know that you are near them. Most of the trucks have a sign on the back encouraging honking so the driver won't run into you. Here is an example sign on a truck that says "Horn OK Please"...


The honking really is necessary based on how packed the roads are.

I was amazed by how many motorcycles were on the road. I'd guess that for every one car/truck there were 10 motorcycles...just about the opposite of the USA. Some people use their motorcycles like a minivan. I saw a family of four traveling on a motorcycle. I missed my chance at catching that on film, but I did get this family of three...


The streets are filled with yellow taxis. But these taxis are a bit different than the ones we have in the USA, they are called "Auto rickshaws."


Cars drive on the left in India...mostly. Many of the roads have no lanes or people just make their own lanes...which means you never know if you are going to play chicken with someone...


Another popular vehicle that I've not seen before were the Maruti Omni Microvan. These vans look about the size of a golf cart, but seat up to 8 people (crammed in...I saw one fully loaded). Below is a Maurti Omni on the right side of the picture...


Tata makes many of the vehicles in India. Here are a few...




I saw several *tiny* electric cars called "Reva"...

P1010288 P1010287

There were a lot of cows on the road in the middle of the city...something I'm not used to seeing! There are cows in each of the next pics...some might be a bit tough to see until you zoom in.



We actually got hit twice during our 5 days in Bangalore. Each bump was minor. With cars driving so close, bumping each other is fairly typical ("you *only* got hit twice?!?!?!"). After a car hits another, you just keep moving along...nobody pulls over to inspect the damage, trade insurance, or call the police...it is just part of driving in Bangalore! The damage is usually pretty light because the traffic keeps you driving under 15 mph.

Another big difference...no road rage! Americans would go on a killing spree if they were dealing with traffic like this. The Indians were extremely patient and calm...even after somebody bumps their car.



Comments (4)

John Roquemore:

The traffic seems crazy, but the one thing that would really get to me is the poverty over there. Really is sad.


Any more parts pending David ?

Am expecting a blog from you about the monkey you saw in the zoo...

Singapore had crushing traffic at times, but it was very orderly. I don't think it was as bad as this.

In Russia (outside Moscow) we (TAMU Study Abroad students) were in a bus and were going to some artist colony thing outside of town. The roads were awful, and we got sideswiped by a huge military vehicle. The driver and the native Russians on board were like, "no big deal," and everybody kept going like nothing happened. All Americans on board were freaked out.


I have a lot more to post...just short on time to write....it's coming though!

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