Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Horn, Please

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.  Beeeeeeep.  Beeeep.  Beeeep.  Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

For two weeks, this was our India.  Indians, it seems, love their horns.  Motorcycles, toot, toot, toot, as they bob and weave between the gridlocked cars, trucks, and street vendors.  Cars beep as they swerve around wandering cows, police speed bumps, and pedestrians.  And the trucks simply lean on their deep guttural, or more commonly, playfully sing-song horns, as they rumble down highways or inch through cities.

The appropriate times to lean, and lean heavily, on one's horn include.

  • Passing an oncoming vehicle.  Even if all appears well, i.e. there is no need to alert the oncoming traffic of your presence, the horn is blared simply as a hello.  You can imagine that over hundreds of miles of highway this makes for a lot of honking.
  • Overtaking a vehicle travelling in the same direction as you.  This includes passes made in a center lane, on the shoulder, in the lane for oncoming traffic, and our personal favorite, the pass made in the opposing traffic's shoulder.  In this last instance, we fully supported a lengthy horn blast.
  • Times of quiet on the road.  Sometimes we thought Pappu was just a bit bored with the scenery, so he would blast the horn.
  • And of course, any time you were near a truck.  Indeed, they asked for the horn.  And, as you'll see, they asked nicely. So who were we to refuse?
The horn-makers in India must be doing really, really well.

And this sign?  Forget it.


  1. Is "Flammmable Motor Spirit" gasoline or a really strong beverage? (And I do like the 3rd "m" for emphasis!)


  3. sociable and friendly sort of country, huh?

  4. @ Lynda - the amount of honking was crazy.
    @ Josh - based on some of the whiskeys we drank in India, I think they may actually be the same
    @ Erica - thanks!
    @Sue - the beeping, though constant, was always friendly. No one beeped in aggravation at the indecipherable traffic patterns, the unbearbale road conditions, or aggressive and unpredicable motorbikes, tuk-tuks, and cars/trucks. That was the weird thing.


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