Andy and I have run many a country and seen crazy driving, inventive driving, sheer madness and the unbelievable.
Over the past few days we have had to run the odd bit of road, cut a mega freeway or run a town to pick up the wall on the other side. It’s been quite an experience.
The hooter is also a common tool used in many a country, but that hoot has different meanings.
Thailand it was a greeting and sometimes a warning, Cuba a plain simple hi with a hoot. India, well this gave the hooter a new meaning; I think it goes on with the ignition and never stops and the only thing needed to get a vehicle roadworthy is a working hooter.
Then there is the hooter in China, it is not often heard, but mark my words when you hear it, it’s simple, get out of the way or you are going to be hit. But the thing that amazes me is the way the guys drive.
Cars fly across four lane freeways shooting out from side roads, popping out from between the rows of fruit trees straight into a freeway, swinging in left and just joining in as if it’s the norm. Then there is the zebra crossing, which seems to be the hit zone. To get to a massive intersection via this is not plain sailing. There are cars popping out behind you on the pavement, red arrows, green arrows and the orange ones, all flashing at once with cars turning left, right and U-turning as you are enticed along the dotted line as if you are playing “Crossy Road” except it’s not a game, you are the real pawn.
The only way to cross safely is to wait for a moped or motorcycle and run on the inside of it using it as an airbag and hope you are not taken out as well.
We have also subsequently found out from the team that people on foot basically have no rights on the road and the bigger your vehicle is the more you can bully other vehicles around you and basically do what you want.
I had a bit of this first-hand experience yesterday, running through a town on the main road and a van was coming up the road on my left into the intersection we were running across. On the van came, he looked right, then at me, saw me but just kept coming, heading down on me. I could not get out the way, I knew the impact was inevitable and stuck out my left arm to try and push myself away from the van. At the last moment there was a screech as we made contact and I was just brushed aside by a glancing blow and on the van went.