3.11.2010

I May Have A *Wee* Bit Of Road Rage

I like to drive. I prefer to drive. In fact, when I don't drive, I'm a self-confessed back seat driver. Which isn't exactly easy to be when you've been schlepped around everywhere you go, every ... single ... day ... for almost two years.

No matter where we're going, I find myself sighing loudly when Velan turns down a side road to take a short cut, or shaking my head and pursing my lips when a bus, a scooter, or a pedestrian pulls out right in front of us and we have to slam on our breaks. I've even been known to mumble a couple of obscenities not-so-under my breath. But Velan? He never seems phased by the other drivers and his reactions to the mayhem are calm and collected.

It's not exactly the same when I drive. I'm not quite as calm as Velan is, rather I have a bit of pent up road rage. I shake my fist whenever I'm cut off, when I'm stuck behind an animal in the road, or when a barely drivable bus nearly sideswipes my car. I've written in the past about driving here in Chennai. To sum it up in one word: it's chaos. But once you get the hang of it, it's easy. Sort of. If you don't mind grinding your teeth and sweating through your already pit-stained tank tops.

Following the rules of the road makes it easy. Which are... drift from lane to lane, honk your horn with the rest of them, pass each and every car you can, and anticipate the stupidity that someone WILL cut you off at least every 100 meters. If you can think like a local, you can drive like a local.

When my parents were here back in December, we couldn't fit everyone in the car along with my driver. So I told him that he had the time off, and I drove instead. My parents got a kick out of it and took a few video clips. If you can handle a little shaky shaky of his back-seat video, a bit of under-my-breath commentary, and sweet accolades from my folks about my abilities, take a look at me driving.

And don't miss the last video. It's not every day you see a dog riding a motorcycle.


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16 comments:

Michele said...

The commentaries cracked me up :) I don't miss that one bit... not one bit. The roads were awful.

Mom24 said...

Once again, India just makes me say Wow! Crazy.

In the top one I really thought you had to be going the wrong way down a one way street!

DC will be a piece of cake after that. :)

cameron said...

LOVE it! your parents are cracking me up. It looks like it is just a free for all, cars, bikes, people, ladders. No lights, right?

Betsy said...

Loved the videos! Your parents commentary is very funny. You seem to be really very calm. I think I would go crazy with all that chaos!

Natalie said...

I was good until the first intersection. Eek. And I drive in Dubai. I guess, more speed works way better for me than being so unbelievably close to everything!!! Yikes!!! I already have parking lot anxiety with all the Lamborghinis and such that I am terrified to scratch up.

DelhiBound said...

Classic, lady!

Still haven't attempted driving here ... and likely won't. I would be the lunatic out in the middle of the road screaming at some moron for cutting me off.

Kristi said...

I knew it was time to leave our last post when I rolled down the window and dropped the "F bomb" WITH our first two in the back seat.

Yeah....not so good.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Chaos is quite the understatement!

Wowzas. Makes Sydney traffic look a breeze. ;)

LeesOnTheGo said...

Looks like Nairobi! Fantastic idea to post video of a "day in the life behind the wheel"!

Today a (quiet, shy, sweet) friend of mine told me her husband has been holding her hand in the car more often. Romantic? No. It's so she won't flip off the locals.

NKL

A Daring Adventure said...

It's Friday, and that means that the Fourth Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

Here is the link:

http://bit.ly/9J6NBQ

(If I quoted your text and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

Thanks!

Christy said...

I can't wait to watch these this weekend - after Matt fixes our computer so I can! I'm a totally terrible backseat driver too!

Connie said...

I've found the worst part of learning to drive in such chaotic traffic (Cairo and Jordan) is to remember to NOT drive like that back in the US!

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Crystal said...

Oh my goodness, Jill you are my hero!!!!! I love the conversation between you and your parents, that is just classic. I think I have had a similar conversation with my parents. "Mom, I'm quite good at this!" : ) You aren't GOOD, YOU'RE GREAT!!!!!!!! (in the words of TOny the Tiger)

Crystal said...

Oh my goodness, Jill you are my hero!!!!! I love the conversation between you and your parents, that is just classic. I think I have had a similar conversation with my parents. "Mom, I'm quite good at this!" : ) You aren't GOOD, YOU'RE GREAT!!!!!!!! (in the words of TOny the Tiger)

Crystal said...

Oh my goodness, Jill you are my hero!!!!! I love the conversation between you and your parents, that is just classic. I think I have had a similar conversation with my parents. "Mom, I'm quite good at this!" : ) You aren't GOOD, YOU'RE GREAT!!!!!!!! (in the words of TOny the Tiger)

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