Transportation and other little things I don’t want to forget about India

On a typical highway, there are lots of cargo trucks (painted delightfully like pictured Here ) a few cars, and lots of scooters. It seems like unless you have bucketloads of extra money, when a family has more than 1 child, they don’t think, “Honey, I think it’s time for the minivan/SUV.” Instead, they think, “honey, it’s time to squish in more on the scooter!” I have seen up to 5 people on a scooter meant for 1 person. It reminds me of the rugby boys squishing 3 of their huge selves onto a scooter to get home from practice in Provo, except people will go long distances like that. Women, if on the scooter with their husbands, will ride side saddle if they are in a traditional sari. The saris are so gorgeous and multi-colored that they look regal perched on the back. Sometimes there are a few children squished in between their parents. Auto rickshaws are sometimes packed with as many as 10 people. There are people hanging on the sides, out the back, traveling at 40-50 mph, weaving in and out of cars and trucks, it is crazy!

Auto rickshaw at the tolls… and this one is not even full!

The car horn is just as important as the brake or the gas. It is used to tell people, “Hey, move over!”, “Hey, I’m here!” or “Hey!!!” On the back of all the big semi trucks here are the words, “Horn please.” So different!

Here in Reliance Greens, there are a few stop signs. On the stop signs are the words, “Stop, check, go.” I thought this was funny until I realized some people probably have no idea what stop signs are. There are no stop signs in Jamnagar. There are a few traffic lights, but mostly there are traffic circles and people randomly cut across the main roads from side roads. They also don’t really respect direction of traffic. On a divided highway, for example, there will be cars, auto rickshaws, scooters, truc
ks, etc all going the opposite way of traffic near the side of the road because they don’t want to overshoot their destination and drive on the appropriate side of the road. There are lines on the road near Reliance, but that is because it is more civilized. Usually, there are no lines and people just weave in and out of trucks and scooters or stay smack dab in the middle of the 2 lanes.

I don’t know if this is true of all of Asia, but the noise the trucks make when they back up is much different here. Instead of an unpleasant grating high pitched noise, trucks as well as cars and buses play a delightful little tune. For awhile, before I actually saw a car backing up, but heard the noise, I thought that there was an ice cream truck nearby. The buses that take the workers to the refinery have even cooler noises- mostly because I can recognize the tunes. They played “London Bridge”, “Old MacDonald”, and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” while they were backing up. I think it makes everything better to have these noises instead of the traditional grating high pitched noise.

Also, there are camel carts, which I had no idea even existed. The end.

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