Transportation in India
Getting from A to B in India is always an adventure.
The ignorance of the bus drivers and the hectic chaos on the streets, this is what you get when travelling by bus in India.
For the drivers it’s all about surviving on the streets, if they don’t take their space somebody else will and the bus will be standing still.
Overtaking another vehicle in a curve seems to be something everybody does and nothing to raise your eyebrow about.
The strong urge of overtaking at any time although they know they have to stop 50m later and to be surpassed again……..
The cat and rat game started and it will only stop once you reached your destination.
The buses compete to reach a place first and the only thing that count is to win.
Auto rickshaws, the rat race started again. Our bus conductor Jhansi, from Amaravati-Vijayawada
Cheaper than the taxis this will be your way to travel once the public buses can’t take you and your backpack further.
Smaller than the rest on the road except from bicycles and pedestrians, this three wheeler moves on the streets with the confidence of a Bat mobile.
Never tired, always on the go, the hand accelerated auto rickshaw finds a minuscule space in between a truck and a bus and just hangs on the horn and somehow squeezes it self in. Somehow getting past all the obstacles just expecting the bigger vehicles to make space.
Again the ignorance and probably a lucky star or two (or maybe even a special god of the auto rickshaw drivers) makes the drivers seemingly unaware of what could really happen to their tiny vehicle in the harsh conditions on the streets.
Trusting that there are no rules to be obeyed seems to be the way to get around.
Not thinking about what could happen, not being scared, living the moments in chaos and surviving seems to be the way things work on the hectic streets of India.
Haggling down the price and paying that price to risk your life in the hands of the drivers and hopefully arriving is the mantra of auto rickshaw driving.
Consider keeping legs and limbs inside the vehicle.
Remember that not only your driver is a maniac there are LOADS of them in India, and they all seem to be a driver of some kind……
Trains at a glance- Organisation and planning ahead is the golden rule to train travelling.
This will avoid you from overcrowded queues that no one seems to stand in.
You will avoid the gently stroke of Indian men standing and leaning their gentiles in your buttocks.
Understanding the different classes and you will get what you pay for.
Sleeper class with fan will leave you with open windows and the chance to get a glimpse of life passing by on the tracks.
The toilet which was latest cleaned before independence leaves a stale smell of ammonia in the train compartments which tend to get more insisting whenever the train is moving, comes to a stop or if someone leaves the door open. Once you think its gone it reminds you with a strong stale whiff right up in your nose. The squat toilets floor is covered in yellow liquid which gently whiskers from side to side following the movements of the train. The western style toilet is better to be avoided.
The famous quote made by our Bavarian friend Oliver concerning shoe choice while traveling on the Pelni ships in Indonesia:
“I didn’t bring my wellington boots”
Spot on also in India.
Theft on board, this happened on a train from Bhubaneswar to Vijayawada.
An older man gets on board the train with a younger man and a lot of suitcases, they move from coach to coach, soon they are seated opposite us.
The older man starts to sleep and at a stop the younger man gets out with one suitcase, the older man wakes up and understands that he’s been robbed.
He soon has the force of order by his side and we can only imagine the conversation:
“So you didn’t know this man”?
“No, we only got on at the same place, he helped me with my bags”
“Could you please describe him for me”?
“Short, dark and with a mustache.”
This description will fit in on 95% of all Indian men over 14 years of age……….It makes a needle in a haystack look easy to find. The culprit is probably still walking the streets in his “undercover”.