Rules of the Road

OK, I think I’ve figured out the traffic rules here.

Big vehicles (like cars and busses) aren’t expected to look out for the little guys (pedestrians, bikes, mopeds, rickshaws) aside from giving a pre-emptory “Here I come, stay/get out of my way” honk (to which the little guys comply). The little guys have to just fit around the big guys on the road. The big guys are, however, gracious towards each other, accomodating vehicles that are equal or greater to them in rank, allowing them to cut in or pass without challenge.

Compare to the USA: The big guys have to, by law, look out for the little guys. If a car runs over a pedestrian, there is hell to pay (legally and socially). But if another car, equal or greater in size, tries to overtake us, we generally consider it a impingement on our personal space and may even get aggressive about it.

What might this say about our different social orders and psychologies? Discuss.

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2 thoughts on “Rules of the Road

  1. Interesting observations. Their way of doing things seems to follow quite naturally from a caste mentality, don’t you think? I’d also say that (relatedly) their culture seems a lot more authoritarian. What’s your take?

    • I’d have to agree about the caste system analogy. Especially in consideration of all of the bribery and corruption that goes on in politics and business here, you don’t really register on people’s radar screens here unless you are important or rich.

      On the other hand, our country was founded by underdogs. We like it that way. In fact, I don’t think we’ve really quite adjusted to the idea that we actually are top dog now. I mean, we can be oblivious and self-righteous just as well as the next guy, but it tends to bother us more once we realize what we are doing.

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