Friday, January 13, 2012

A Free Adventure With Every Taxi Ride

Just above is a 30-second excerpt of our taxi ride from the Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon to the Hilton Janakpuri. The taxi fare was INR 1300, which is a relative bargain at about USD $26.

We've already learned a little about about driving customs here. While there is a lot of honking, most of it is simply to warn other drivers that you're overtaking them on the right or the left. Driver set their rearview mirrors to look out the side to see who's sneaking up alongside (as our Dave found out on his visit) and they don't worry as much as we do about who's behind them, hence the honking.

As in some other countries, the painted lines on the pavement are a guideline rather than a rule, and it's quite common to see three vehicles crowding into two lanes. A huge variety of vehicles co-exist to some extent, from bicycles to carts pulled by animals, to bicycle rickshaws, to tuk-tuks (those funny three-wheeled vehicles), to cars, to big trucks and buses, with pedestrians walking across the street at points where we'd never venture.

We saw numerous sacred cows along the way - heck, we saw a a large pig roaming around in a lot outside the Courtyard this morning - and the sights and sounds and contrasts are quite amazing to gawk at for the first time.

Even before we checked out of the Marriott, it was intriguing during a stroll around the pool to a watch window washer cleaning windows with his partner crouched at the edge on top to guide him. Obviously neither is afraid of heights.

From there it was into the taxi for the ride from Gurgaon to Janakpuri.

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