Sunday, June 15, 2014

Getting the Skinny

I can't decide whether the traffic problems in Mumbai come from the shear number of vehicles on the road or are caused by the creatively aggressive driving style. Either way I'm happy that most people hire drivers to take them places especially since these drivers come with a perk - insider info!

Some interesting insights I've learned:

Women police or traffic directors cannot work past 5 pm for safety reasons (they are a rare sight even in the daytime).

To encourage evil to avoid you, tie a small fruit offering under the front of your car bumper each Saturday - lord ganesha's special day. People smile and acknowledge they are being superstitious but, hey, have you seen the crazy way they drive?!?


Anyone sleeping or trying to set up shelter anywhere is paying "a local hoodlum" to be there. The same goes for someone who is selling from a cart (they usually rent the cart) or even those who have more permanent sidewalk housing. And those people could then turn around and rent that same space out to someone else for a little bit more and pocket the change.

In the city of Mumbai, 45% of it is slums. There are differing local opinions about whether or not the people who live in the slums are rich or poor since they don't pay taxes and many have satellite TV, air conditioning, and have some mode of transportation. Most non-slum dwellers we've met have very little patience or tolerance for those who are "illegals" (illegally living without proper authority or registration - basically all the slums).

 And lastly, the famous cow-in-the road isn't wandering randomly about. Apparently, if you see a cow, that means there is a temple a few feet away. You can buy some holy grass and risk your life to stand in the street to feed the sacred cows. I'm not sure if that will make my To Do list...

1 comment:

  1. You have to buy the holy grass for the sacred cow! Or make Dani do it. I bet your driver could shield you with his car. Do it on Saturday and tie on some extra fruit ;)