Saturday, December 11, 2004

Drive like a MAD Santa !!

Before driving in the United States (starting in 2000), I had driven cars in Bombay for six years. If you've ever driven in NYC, you might be familiar with certain basic rules of big city driving but here's a quick primer:

1) Horns are installed on a car for a reason. Use them. A good horn costs somewhere between $150-$1000 installed. So why not use them on slow drivers, or just as a means of saying Hi to other drivers.

2) Brakes are made of brake-pads. Brake pads are replaceable. So make sure you use your current set of brakes completely before you are forced to replace them. Therefore brake hard and brake often.

3) Red lights are to warn you about traffic that might potentially be moving in a direction across from you. There's no need to stop at a red light, but make sure you look in either direction and slow down to show appropriate courtesy before you proceed.

4) Stop signs are for the weak. A 4-way stop sign is a test of brute strength between four drivers. You have to come ahead by avoiding eye contact with the other three drivers and proceeding in your direction without caring for who's turn it is to occupy the intersection.

Anyway, what I was getting at is that my initial driving years were spent in a city with rules such as the above. In Bombay we also had other exciting and challenging dynamics such as stray dogs, people, the occasional sleeping but much-revered cow and trucks that look like they will fall apart any moment.

Today, all those memories came back to me. We had to go shopping to the mall. Initially I was trying to get accustomed to the amount of cars near the mall and the fact that the only way to make a left turn on a green light was to wait for that light to turn red. Very soon, basic instincts took over. While Noddy clung on desperately to the passenger side door handle wondering if she should really bother to shop if we were going to soon be in an accident, I was starting to drive like I would in Bombay. For once I felt free. I felt like I had nothing to care about, no courteous behavior and no giving way to other oddities that claim to be drivers. I was so happy that I declared myself to be a Mad Santa. I cut lots of drivers, made two U-turns on double yellow lines and caused one driver to honk madly at me at Walmart when I honked at him and cut him off ( it was his fault - really!!). By evening I was too tired to drive crazy but I think I spent the day less stressed than I would've been if I had driven courteously in this mad rush of Christmas gremlins and green monsters.

Ho(nk)-Ho(nk)-Ho(nk) !!!!

1 Comments:

Blogger jody said...

we're just warming up for the nascar season is all :)

thinking of you today...

9:13 PM  

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