The first thing I did when I landed in India was get stuck in traffic.
I’m assuming everyone reading this has been stuck in traffic at one point or another.
But India traffic? That’s on a whole other level.
Imagine constant bumper to bumper traffic.
Now add in hundreds of people and animals walking on this street.
Throw in some blatant disregard for traffic laws. (What lanes? they say.)
And for good measure, add in the love affair Indians have with their horns. Look, I don’t know why that last one is a thing. The cars are moving at the speed of a snail, there’s very little chance of movement. It’s not like honking is going to do any good. I suspect it’s a therapeutic thing.
And to Indians, this crazy system works, makes sense even.
But, even though I call myself an Indian, this TERRIFIES me.
Anyways, my family (my mom, dad, and little brother) flew in to Bangalore, to see my aunt.
They don’t live too far from the airport, about half an hour away under normal conditions.
But this is India, and there is no such thing as “normal conditions.”
We hail a cab, and give the driver my aunt’s address. He agrees to take us all the way to her house.
My aunt had given us the standard India trip reminders, such as ‘only drink bottled water'(a whole ‘nother story). She didn’t warn us about the Bangalore traffic, which is even worse than the rest of India.
And, just our luck, we got the crazy taxi driver.
Let me explain this.
Okay, so in the Harry Potter universe, there’s a bus called the Knight Bus, which helps stray wizards, a wizard version of the Night Bus in England.
This is the description from the Harry Potter Wikia:
“The bus does not seem to have much in the way of safety features, as passengers and luggage alike are being thrown around the inside of the bus during its haphazard maneuvers. The driver seat is more of an armchair than what a Muggle-vehicle’s car seat would be. It may have a powerful Imperturbable Charm placed on it so Objects can leap out of its way. The bus does not travel underwater, but can go anywhere on land.”
Have an idea?
Well, this taxi driver seems to think he’s driving this bus.
He’s talking on his phone for most of the time, and is attempting to weave though this bumper to bumper traffic.
My though process at that time:
AHHHH NO NO STOP DUDE PAY ATTENTION. (repeat as many times a necessary)
Anyways, we’re stuck with this horrible taxi driver, praying for our lives, when he slows down and stops.
After the initial sigh of relief, confusion set in.
And that’s when our horrible day got worse.
“My shift is over.” said the terrible taxi driver. “I’m leaving, my partner is coming to drive you the rest of the way.”
That was my Dad, trying really hard not to get pissed off.
“I have to go, my shift is over. Can I have half of the money now? My partner isn’t going to be able to give it to me.”
So my Dad gets pissed. He starts yelling at this guy, who just sort of stares at him the whole time.
And I watched this, sitting in the backseat, watched my dad argue with a taxi driver who had just pulled over ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY.
Soon, the guy’s partner how up and our terrible taxi driver leaves.
Of course, my Dad is still pissed, he probably is going to sue or something.
But, because of Fate’s weird sense of humor, our new taxi driver? He’s the nicest, calmest, most patient guy ever.
So you go taxi drivers. Not all of you are terrible.
(I mean, you probably knew that, but my dad wasn’t so sure at the time.)
Anyways, when we get to my aunt’s house, we sit down and chat. My dad relays the story to her, still kinda pissed.
My aunt, however, just looks at him and says, “Oh, yeah. The traffic in the city is pretty bad.”