Tell me how you drive I'll tell you who you are...
Being stuck in traffic in India leaves you a lot of time to think… So the other day I was wondering whether they could be a link with the way people drive and who they are.
Of course it would involve a lot of clichés but the idea is not entirely stupid, in my opinion.
Nooo! I wouldn’t dare to say that just because Indians drive crazy that they are all crazy don’t get me wrong ;) Though...
But no, I was rather thinking that the only driving rule in India “always look in front. Not on the sides. Never backward” also applies to the way they drive their lives. Always looking forward rather than dwelling upon the past. It is probably partly linked to India economic development where everything (almost) is yet to be done. But I think it is also in Indians’ nature, “not thinking too much (at least this is the impression they give), future-oriented, enjoying simple moments (you should see our executives starting dancing the moment you play music in a seminar)” kind of nature.
To go back to the Indian driving style, it is every man for himself. There is no conception of “collective well-being”, of “if I let this person go first then I won’t block the whole street for one hour”. Same thing when it comes to queuing. Indians do not wait in lines. I think it is because they don’t really care about others; they only matters. Are they individualistic? I believe they are (except when it comes to family) – and who can blame them? With a population of 1.2 billion, you have to fend for yourself!
Now you will tell me, who are you to criticise? Aren’t you French? Ah the French… Possibly the worst drivers in the world (or at least in Europe, let us be fair). I loved that website that described us as “impatient, intolerant and even aggressive maniacs with an unshakeable conviction in our own immortality [and having] little respect for traffic rules, particularly anything to do with parking (in Paris, a car is a device used to create parking spaces)” – the rest is even better, I let you read… So this is how we drive, and a bit how we are also no? Complaining a lot, impatient, undisciplined…
Follow me in Germany with this blog. At a signal. “To dare challenge [the red man’s] authority and step gingerly out into a completely empty road when he is still red, is to take great personal risk. Not of getting run over, the road is completely empty after all. Bar being struck by an invisible car, you’re safe. No, what you really risk is the scorn, the tutting and the shouts of “Halt!” from nearby Germans. Who will now consider you an irresponsible, possibly suicidal, social renegade.” Wouldn’t that vouch for the stereotype that Germans are very disciplined and love to follow the rules?
The Britishers drive rather carefully… To the point that they themselves are more frustrated by slow drivers than over speeding ones! An illustration of the British phlegm and legendary politeness?*
Maybe I got it all wrong but I had good fun writing that post!
To conclude on a funny note, see this joke on driving styles in the world:
“One hand on steering wheel, one hand out of window. Sydney
One hand on steering wheel, one hand on horn. Japan
One hand on steering wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator. Boston
Both hands on steering wheel, eyes shut, both feet on brake, quivering in terror. New York
Both hands in air, gesturing, both feet on accelerator, head turned to talk to someone in back seat. Italy
One hand on horn,
one hand greeting,
one ear on cell phone,
one ear listening to loud music,
foot on accelerator,
eyes on female pedestrians,
conversation with someone in next car.
Welcome to India!!”
Living in Germany: http://venturevillage.eu/how-to-be-german-part-1
* Living in the UK: http://www.thecheers.org/Entertainment/article_2222_English-Politeness-and-Manners.html ; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8649662/Slow-drivers-cause-the-most-frustration.html