When travelling around Third World and developing countries I have a rule. It’s the only thing I have control over when being flung around the back of a stinky taxi in KL or griping onto the side of a tuk-tuk in India. DON’T look out the front windscreen. Trust me, its better that way. You don’t see the oncoming trucks or the cows who refuse to move away from a mad intersection. You don’t even notice the look of terror on the approaching drivers. Instead, with your head turned at 90 degrees you serenely glide through the cacophony of mayhem oblivious to the chaos your vehicle is contributing to.
In fact, you don’t even wonder which way the traffic should be going. As P.J. O’Rourke says in his short story on Third World Driving Hints and Tips, “Which side of the road do they drive on? This is easy. They drive on your side. That is, you can depend on it, any oncoming traffic will be on your side of the road.”
As my photo of a careening tuk-tuk through Fort Cochin in India demonstrates, he’s spot on. However, I obviously broke the golden rule and it should be noted that if your driver IS applying the rule then you too may end up sandwiched between a truck and a building.
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