Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Street Jousting or Jackass Number Shanghai

I had lunch today on what is known locally as "Food Street". It's two blocks full of restaurants and street vendors selling food. I'll write more on the comparative safety of the food later. For now, I'd like to focus on what appears to be the most powerful force known to man (or at least to the people who wield this awesome force). I'm referring to none other than the annoying horn. Seems people on bicycles and scooters think that just because they have an annoying horn, mere mortals and pedestrians should automatically jump out of the way and let them through. Well, I wanted to see what would happen if one of these pedestrians (me) finally had enough and refused to yield. Like Mookey from Do The Right Thing, I wanted to through the proverbial trash can through the window of Sal's Famous pizzeria. So, when the next guy on a scooter came honking along, I proceeded to plant myself and stand my ground as he came barreling down the path at the breakneck speed of approximately 1.5 miles per hour. We were locked in a game of chicken only he probably wasn't aware of it because to my surprise, he didn't stop! Instead, he came crashing into my elbow, almost knocked himself over, and just kept motoring along as though nothing had happened, bumping into other people along the way. Guess that answers that question.

Yup... reminds me of the time Amisha and I rented a car (and driver) to drive from New Delhi to Muzzafarnagar. Amisha had fallen asleep in the back, and was awakened by a huge thud!

When she asked what it was, she received the calming yet disconcerting, "Go back to sleep, we just hit a guy on an ox cart."

Apparently accidents are all relative! Especially in those asian countries...
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