The first time I was in India, I travelled to Bombay, Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, and Udaipur mostly by van. It was impossible not to notice the multicolored painted vans. They are covered in painted flowers, designs, and the ubiquitous “Horn OK Please.”
And why does it say this? Driving etiquette in India requires that drivers honk before passing, “to let them know you are there.” Driving with a friend and his dad, I was most amused when his dad scolded him for not honking enough. You can’t even imagine how much honking there is on a four lane highway, with each car honking every time they overtake another. It brings new meaning to the word cacophony!
A few years ago I went to Goa, India. While there, I had the chance to drive both a scooter and a car. It was so much fun. Like a video game. It was the 5th or 6th time I’d travelled in India, and I’d consistently been impressed with how traffic works, often without signals, in some kind of natural organic flow. Different types of vehicles blending together to share space.
Though Goa is far tamer than other parts of India, I still found driving very inspiring. It was fun like the best kind of driving video games — which got me thinking…
Wouldn’t it make a great video game? Imagine that you drive different kinds of vehicles. Maybe you start out with a push cart that you push yourself, move up through ox drawn carts, rickshaws, scooters and motorcycles (with at least 5 passengers), cars, and, of course, horn-ok-please trucks. You have to negotiate traffic, avoid hitting cows sleeping on the median strip, and achieve goals (like delivering the vegetables on the push cart, or picking up and dropping off customers in the rickshaw). Meanwhile, trying to incarnate up levels to better vehicles. And if you do hit that cow? Definitely incarnating downward…
It’s amazing how the traffic flows… somebody build this please? Otherwise I’ll have to go back to India for the real thing. :)
Photo Credit: Horn OK Please by Dave Morris