Necessary Use of Horn or Honk Please

mila: In the United States we have the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has come up with a set of standard that we motorists must abide by- this is enforced by the police department and highway patrol. We have spotted white lines to divide lanes, double yellow lines act as invisible walls, and whatever else I can’t think of at the moment. For the most part, things seem organized, but reasons of which I am uncertain, accidents are always on the rise… Then there’s driving in India. If there is one starkly noticeable difference, it is the use of one’s horn. The honking horn is a tool, used more than the steering wheel, pedal (gas, brake and clutch) and definitely more than the turn signal. To a foreigner it seems that every driver is angry with one another and that road rage rules their hearts. After some investigation and close study, I’ve realized that the horn is like an awareness alert. A, “Hey you, I’m coming through, watch out.” sort of thing. In America, we use the horn to get the attention of someone in order to flip them off, give them a dirty sneer, or to inform them of our displeasure in their driving skills. In India, when the horn is honked people don’t widen their eyes or throw their hands up, instead, they swerve out of the way because they know they can’t keep up. And if I haven’t made my point clearly enough, painted on the back of all trucks and rickshaws it says “Horn Please”. They want to hear the sweet melody of B sharp symphonize the airwaves… After a while, you get used to it and if you don’t hear the blares then you know something’s a little off or maybe you’re out in the lonely country, which is where I saw the aftermath of some sort of accident; for the first time, surprisingly, especially with the erratic manuevering mastered here. A crowd of colors was like a pretty blob in the middle of the road up ahead. As we passed by, cautiously, I peered into the center of the bubble, a man on his side, his motorcycle as well just a few feet away. Peeking through the hovering, I felt bad for the injured but not bad enough to tell our driver to stop because it looked like he just fell off and was recovering. No blood, no help. That’s what I say. (I never say that actually) Mainly, I scanned the faces to see any sign of reason to worry and there wasn’t. Thus, I stand by my conclusion that Indians are the best drivers in the world. (Too bold?)

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