“If you can drive a ver-her-kle in Cochin you can drive anywhere!”
“They always say, Suresh, make it fast.” (in reference to lawyers who need to get to the airport in half the time to catch their flight)
Quotes of Suresh our driver who turned out to be the most excellent guide.
Cars, tuk tuks, motobikes, buses and lorries all competing on the highway and small winding roads. The constant honking of horns of various pitches. But somehow it doesn’t feel like road rage. There are signs at the back of big vehicles urging you to warn that you are behind them. Everyone is used to the honking and it’s just a communication device to say, I’m here. Also vehicles and people are in such close proximity, it felt that if I just stuck out my hand I could touch them. Most cars and bikes go at high speeds so it felt like we were going to knock someone down or hit oncoming traffic, that seemed to be coming straight at you and swerving to the side at the last moment.
If you drive too close or honk too much in Singapore, you’d be at the receiving end of road rage. Even with the lack of potholes and smoother roads, Singaporeans are very prone to loosing it, with the pressure cooker, highly demanding work environment we are subjected to. In Kerala things are more relaxed and this is reflected in the speech patterns of people who speak slowly and calmly. I wish we could emulate it and be less stressed out. Let me rephrase that. I wish all bosses could emulate this and makes us all less distressed at work.
Another thing I noticed is that buses and lorries are lovingly decorated with art and given the name of the owners, or reflect their faith. There are Christians, Muslims and Hindus in Cochin.
Welcome to Cochin. This is pretty much the story in all major Indian cities. Sometimes I wonder what all these people would have done, if there were no vehicles and every one had to walk to get places.