Smacked by a jet liner
Another day in the manic Indian traffic. Initially we thought that the last 600km would be the wild coast of India and that the population would thin out. It’s exactly the opposite, it’s village upon village that have fused together. Here is hardly an open space amongst the massive palm groves that cover every inch of soil. The road situation has become worse; there is no longer a shoulder to run on. In order to try and cope with the mass of traffic, the shoulder has been used as road. This has made running a real danger as every minute you feel the swoosh of air as a truck or bus passes by and each step one just hopes that you are not going to get hit. I have had about 20 brushes with vehicles so far, but have managed to stay on my feet as they just speed off into the distance and leave you stumbling along and just praying that you don’t fall and get swatted by the next car right behind you.
The morning traffic was building, bikes everywhere, buzzing through the traffic, causing chaos as usual. But the jetliners (the state buses), were taking nothing of this, hooters blaring they were just blasting a hole through the traffic, like meteorites entering the atmosphere, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. The blaring suddenly caught my attention it just seemed more frantic, this hooter was going crazy. It was now instinct, I jumped out of the road in mid stride, twisting my neck and head backwards I just managed to catch the devastation.
There was a bike flying through the traffic, 3 up on it, smoke bellowing from every join in the engine as it strained under the load of revving at full taps heading up the hill, swerving from left to right through the mayhem, legs, arms and bags flapping around. These guys were in a serious rush. But behind them was this big jetliner with no wings in even a bigger rush, full of people on the way to work and it was building up a serious head of steam. Some how the bike had swerved in from nowhere, across the front of the bus and aimed for the edge of the road, but there was nowhere to go. There was a wall, lamp post, a few people and the bus. The bus could go nowhere either. There was a wall of oncoming traffic and the chaos next to it. There was only one option, blow the hooter and keep the accelerator flat down and hope that he could blast past the problem.
No not this time. As I jumped out of the way, I could see it unfolding, at the last moment the bus tried to open a bit of a gap, too small too late. He clipped the back of the bike as he shot past. The bike swung out and into the wall, half clipping it as the bus shot past, just missing hitting it a second time. The bike somersaulted, dismounting its passengers who miraculously seemed to bounce once and roll up against the wall; the bike wedged itself against a pole and the wall. For the rest, the big bag that they guys were transporting hit the road and burst open spewing fresh fish every where, which were very soon turned into flat road sole as the traffic passed.
The strangest thing to me was that there was no commotion about the accident. It was as if, ok I messed up let’s get and up carry on with life.