Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dhaka traffic

Well, I had already been warned that Dhaka traffic is extremely slow-going.  Too many people on the roads all at once.  I've actually felt like I would be hit here more so than any other country where traffic laws and signs are guidelines and road decorations.  There have been a number of close encounters!  Have I been afraid, though?  Definitely not.  I trust drivers here because they know what they're doing, and it seems that accidents are inevitable since practically everyone has scratches on their cars.  Besides, I think it's difficult to have a bad accident by going at high speed since the roads are so crowded, you really don't have many opportunities to go fast; you're just in a snail-paced commute to get wherever you're going.

One thing that I noticed here that's really smart, though, is that everyone has small chrome bumpers on the fronts and backs of their cars.  Of course, this is really the way cars should always have been made.  I remember when a shiny chrome bumper was a standard feature on cars back home, and now we have these flimsy pieces of crap on our cars that always seem to be just shy of a million dollars to fix when you get the slightest nick in them.  The chrome bumpers actually protected the car, and they didn't sustain too much damage to themselves in a regular fender bender.  Oh, the good old days!  Anyway, looking around, I realised that everyone had them, although many still had scrapes and small dents in their cars.  I don't know if the chrome bumpers had been retro-fit or when they are usually attached to the cars, but I wish we had these at home.  Maybe we do, and I've just never known where to get them since few, if any, people have them.

The other thing they have here are three-wheelers as buses.  In India, I've only ever seen them in the forms of small pickups, though perhaps there are bus versions, too.  I wish I could have got a good shot of one of them that we passed where the back had what looked to be police officers.  The funny part to me is that they were riding in a regular vehicle, not a police-issued one.

There are also lots more people riding on top of buses.  I couldn't get a photo of that either, but I thought this one would suffice.  I miss the old days of being able to ride in the back of a truck, though I have to say that I don't think I would want to sit in one in a city with millions and millions of people.  That's too much exhaust to be breathing in.  Tomorrow I'm off to Pakistan for some vacation time, so I'll have a few more photos to share before posting my larger albums after getting back from my trip.  I started trying to post at least a photo or two right in my blog entries not only to satisfy those of you that can't wait for photos, but also because it makes my entries look a little nicer and not so text-heavy.  I hope you're enjoying these teasers!

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