Transportation has been an integral part of our journeys over the past several months. Getting from here to there and all points in between. Some episodes more memorable than others (8 hour boat > bus > boat into Koh Tao, Thailand I’m lookin’ at you). Some too are forgettable. One ride on particular I don’t think I can ever forget was our 270 kilometer journey to Amritapuri. Here’s why.
People in India drive like there is no tomorrow. It’s insane. I honestly thought Hanoi, with its trillions of scooters and nary a single stop light was as far as you can take crazy traffic conditions. Boy I was wrong. Expediency obviously trumps safety in this land of a thousand potholes and just when you get comfortable with the speed, the driver would start to exceed your wildest imaginations by playing chicken with oncoming traffic. Really?!?!? I have subsequently learned that this is how people in India like to drive but that didn’t help much to diminish the sheer fright when an oncoming truck (who also happened to be speeding) cleared our left flank by less than 12 inches. Couple this with doppler effected horns and you’ve got some serious heart palpitations. Not for the weary to say the very least.
Jen and I sat in the back seat sweating the minutes by; our driver the whole time as cool as a cucumber, flicking through radio stations and checking his texts. I found myself thinking about the crash and my eventual death and how much I would hate to have the parents come all the way to India just to identify the remains. Would they fly Air India ? Would they have liked the food? Exchange rate in India is confusing right?
Death did spare us for another day and we even did the trip back to Cochin with the same driver (which was equally butt clenching). My advice; score a solid set of ear plugs and a super dark pair of sunglasses to hide behind, discover an assorted host of gods and prophets to pray to and perhaps bring a note pad upon which to composed your will. Then sit back and enjoy the ride…