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Scooter Power

I just realized today that it's been three and a half years since I've driven a car. As an American, that seems fundamentally wrong. Don't we love our cars? But that's my Indian reality, and I'm okay with that. I happily sit behind my DH on the scooter with the boy in my lap. Riding the scooter has never bothered me, but the thought of driving the scooter myself has always scared the living daylights out of me. I refused to entertain the thought for years.

Enter my husband. And persistence....

Every few months or so my husband would mention how I would make a great driver on the scooter. Nice. Subtle. In his mind I would be the modern woman. In my mind - a lunatic. Slowly, slowly my resistance wore thin, and the courage built up drop by drop. A few practice runs and pointers from the expert. Now I can drive most places without too many nail-biting situations. It's good to keep the hands on the handlebars :)

I love the freedom that driving a scooter affords. No longer at the mercy of auto-rickshaw drivers or my two feet. True, traffic is crazy here in more ways that you can imagine. Hello, camel and cow, horse cart and scary bus! But you can predict (usually) when the Really Crazy stuff is going to happen.

I have already learned my fair share of scooter lessons, all personally experienced:

1. Never ever get in between two buses. Nothing good will come from this, unless you consider good a hospital visit.
2. Don't adjust your mirrors while driving. Bad idea.
3. Pedestrians never stop walking, never slow down or speed up. This is how they survive.
4. When you transgress against somebody in traffic, never make eye contact. I can't see you (in singsong voice).
5. Red lights are suggestions.
6. Honking the horn is not rude. It's a complex form of communication that keeps Indian traffic flowing "smoothly".
7. There are no lanes. If there's an inch, you better take it.
8. Cows will never move. I mean, moooo-ve.

So strap on that helmet and adjust those mirrors. Are you with me? Scooter power!

1 comment

  • Mo

    I’m still trying to get over the fact that you didn’t drive when in the US! And I’m so excite that Shane’s persistence encouragement worked and you are enjoying the exhilaration of the open (???) roads of India. Now we need a picture of you on that orange scooty. :)

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