Saturday, January 5, 2008

Day 2: my eardrums long for home

I took the bus to Mamallapuram this morning, about an hour and a half away from chennai. mamallapuram was fine -- pretty rock carvings, a beautiful shore temple -- but the bus ride was outstanding as an exercise in noise tolerance. it seems like bus drivers here honk at the following:

* when cars/mopeds aren't driving maniacally enough
* to tell people to get out of the way (in a city of 11 million people, this is a frequent occurence)
* while passing cars, both to alert the slower car and warn anyone in the oncoming lane that we are f-ing unstoppable
* when traffic is at a standstill. again, a frequent occurence
* when someone falls off their moped and isn't getting up quickly enough
* when passing a fellow driver or anyone else they know
* a 'fuck you' of sorts to other drivers who so much as question the use of the horn with sideways glances
* when nothing's wrong, to show everyone that he has the loudest horn (i.e. biggest penis)

the honking seems to continue until the situation has resolved itself, sometimes 10 seconds later. as you can probably imagine, there was more honking than non-honking, and the decibels were registering quite impressively since I made the awesome mistake of sitting up front next to the driver. I didn't think anything could be louder than the new kids on the block concert I went to in 1989 (screaming girls + joey mcintyre's falsetto = deafness), but clearly I was wrong.

(picture) cow hanging out at the bus stop -- that cute kid and I were taunting it by mooing:

2 comments:

Michael said...

Hahaha - New York taxi cabs could learn a thing or two.

What about the gods? I'm pretty sure that the more vishnu, ganesh, hanuman pictures they have all over the bus, the more crazy ass-mother-fucker they are at driving. Wonder if there's a direct god's-per-square-inch-to-horn-frequency equation?? There's a PHD in this. Looking forward to the next instalment.

corazon icasiano-francisco said...

Doesn't it remind you of Filipino jeepney drivers too?

Take care, don't mooo at the cow-it's sacred to them--heheheh