Hello chums and greetings from the Indian sub-continent where the Shah and I are currently on holiday. Now y'all know how much I like to offer the odd public service announcement and today is no exception. Just I case any of you are ever,
stupid, brave enough to consider driving in Delhi (or in any other city here) what follows will tell you all you need to know:-
Q: I'm a bit worried about finding my way around. What if I take a wrong turn?
A: No problem at all. Just do a U turn anywhere you like! Anytime you feel like it. Make sure to sound your horn while you do so.
Q: But what about oncoming traffic?
A: Don't be a wuss. Just turn straight in front of it and make sure to sound your horn as you do so.
Q: But what if I'm on a dual carriageway?
A: Then you have 2 options. Option 1 - drive over the central reservation (NB you may have to make several attempts to get up there, but just keep slamming the car at it - it'll work eventually and constantly sounding your horn will help). Option 2 - just turn round in the road and drive against the oncoming traffic. Simples! Oh, and make sure to sound your horn.
Q: I have to transport quite a lot of people and I only have a moped. What to do?
A: I see you're one of those pansies who thinks a moped is a 2-man transporter? Hahaha! What's your problem? Cram 'em on. 6 is a nice round number but don't forget the fuel tank provides a handy extra seat and 7 is a lucky number, innit?
Q: How many lanes are there on the average Indian road?
A: How many would you like? The concept of "lanes" is deliciously old fashioned and somewhat academic. We find it helpful to drive astride any white lines that the authorities may have misguidedly painted on the road. Keeps us going in the right direction after all! Today I counted 9 vehicles abreast at the traffic lights. I think there were 3 lanes painted on the road but, meh - whatever.
Q: Do traffic lights operate the same way in India as in the UK?
A: I'm not sure how the UK uses traffic lights but here in India, they certainly look pretty and help decorate some of the more squalid areas. They also add to the Diwali festivities. I can't think of any other reasons why we have them, tbh.
Q: How heavy is the traffic, on average?
A: That rather depends on how you define 'traffic'. Do you just mean cars or do you include the following, any of which might be in the middle of a busy motorway at any time? Cows, tractors, carts, donkeys, camels, pigs, dogs (numbers of legs vary, so some move faster than others), people, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, lorries, vans, cranes, oxen, deer, cycles or motorbikes?
Q: OMG! You mean all these things could be moving in the road at the same time?
A: Certainly. The only things that are in the middle of the road and don't move are trees.
Q: What emergency equipment should I carry in my car?
A: Well, a blow torch and welding equipment would come in handy for most cars...
Q: Jeez - all this has got me worried! Any words of comfort to offer?
A: Yeah - just man up and grow a pair! If a 12 year old can ride a motorbike, so can you! They say you only need 3 things to drive in India - good brakes, a good horn and good luck. And they'd be right!