A little about driving in Pune

I found a café. It’s something a little home like, which means I like it. I’ve been missing familiar things lately; little things like taking a walk, riding my bike through Central Park, finding a park bench to sit in, and finding a café to sit in when I have free time and I just don’t want to sit inside and read. In my case here, it’s really very hot inside. This café has not too much air conditioning. Since I spent the weekend in Pune, and didn’t feel like going out, I spend my Saturday evening in the coffee shop, reading Charlotte’s Web; we’re going to use the books for work, but it’s definitely an amazing book that many adults should go back and read at some point in their adulthood. At any point, it feels good. It’s where I am now, and I feel somewhat New York-like, somewhat home-like. Today I’m trying to read a book that I’ve had for months, The Argumentative Indian. I was getting somewhere until I decided to stick myself in front of a computer again.
Two more friends from work got into a bike accident this weekend. I’m not sure I should write this, risking my parents and some friends freaking out, but again, I want to get it all out there. They were crossing an intersection, and most vehicles take off before the light actually turns green, another bike hit them from the side. They were both fine; one is on bed rest for a week because her side got scratched up pretty badly. It makes me a bit nervous, but since getting my ticket, I usually slow down way before the light counts down. I forgot to mention that at lights there is a timer. You can see how many seconds you have until the light turns green or red. It’s pretty nifty. However, it’s not so good because cars definitely go before it’s their turns, hence, causing unnecessary accidents.
I have to say that driving isn’t as bad as some say it is. I might just be immune to certain things coming from New York, like intense honking. I’ve decided you have to ignore most of it. Unless you’re riding the tail of the guy in front of you, cars and bikes will honk. Therefore, I ignore it. I can’t justify getting rid of an annoying guy behind me to get closer to someone who might potentially stop. Many vehicles, especially bikes (motorcycles) take advantage of space and cut in front. Let them go. The New Yorker in me sometimes wants to curse out the guy honking behind me. I have to remind myself that it’s a cultural thing (honking) and I am nowhere near New York or those kind of drivers. I don’t cut intersections; I stop at red lights and don’t go until they’re green. I’ve also found that going slower doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re being safer. My dad taught me a long time ago that you have to go with traffic, however, if I went with traffic, I think I’d have to weave in and out, honk, and go a bit crazier than I’m willing to go. Vehicles with their signals flashing don’t necessarily mean they’re turning any time soon. I’m also guilty of leaving my signal on; in a car, it just turns off after you’ve made the turn. Right turns are difficult, especially when there’s no traffic light. You have to creep in and make cars and bikes see you. I also don’t like being behind rickshaws or busses. Most of them spit out a lot of smoke; busses give out nasty black smoke. I wear not only my helmet but a scarf underneath that covers my head and face. I keep my facemask plastic down at all times to avoid breathing in any direct fumes. I sometimes wonder the long-term health effects, but can’t think about it too much. There’s not much that I can do. I always look both ways, and use my mirrors; many cars and motorcycles don’t have mirrors and I feel fortunate to have mine.

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