I was once told, while first attempting to learn how to drive almost 10 years ago, that if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere in the world. Fortunately or unfortunately, I never learned how to drive a gear (stick shift) car the first time around. I actually learned driving the easy way, with an automatic car and that too in the U.S.
So did I master driving in India the second time around? I would like to say yes! It did take 1 full month, and my car still stalls on the road at times, but that doesn’t bother me as much. My biggest accomplishment while driving, I have finally started to listen to music. The first two weeks of me driving by myself, I would have pin drop silence so I could concentrate not only on the gear change but also on the crazy traffic.
Some interesting scenarios in my relatively new driving experience:
1) If you were a bad driver in the US, India will make you a good one 🙂 Lol, there are no rules, everyone just pretty much drives however they want. Just watch out for you car.
2) Even at night, some cars/people won’t bother to turn their headlights on. If they do, they probably have their bright lights/high beams on. And almost everyone does it, so you just have to get used to it.
3) People, especially motorcyclists, will scream at you for no reason. This actually happened to me and I was in tears 😦
4) Most people already know this, but the road is for everyone and everything: from camels to elephants to cows, to yes, even people just crossing roads as they please.
5) Nothing phases you anymore once you start driving here, as you see it all. People breaking rules, stopping for no reason, use no turn indicators (which is one of my pet peeves), but also being able to park cars in the tightest of spots!
6) Driving is more of stopping, waiting, or crawling in traffic. Seldom, actually may be just once, have I gone beyond the speed of 50 km/hr (approximately 26 miles/hr).
7) All this stopping and breaking and pressing the clutch gives you, surprisingly, very good leg strength-especially for your thighs!
But yes, I too am a firm believer of the old adage; if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere! So go ahead and try, it’s an experience like no other and one that might even give you a great sense of satisfaction if you master it 🙂
Share your own driving stories. Did you master driving in another country?