Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Remember the bridge where we got caught in traffic on the way to the meeting for 20 minutes? Well--you "ain't heard nothing yet!" You have to know how the Indian mind works to fully appreciate this, but I'll try to get it across (though far be it from me to infer I fully understand the Indian mind!!) On Wednesday night we were stopped for 1 hour. Last night, it was 1hr and 45 minutes! This is how traffic works in India (to the best of my limited experience!). A large vehicle (too large for it to pass the same size vehicle on the narrow space) starts across the bridge at the same time another one starts at the other end. They meet in the middle. Neither driver will back up. In the mean time, other cars, trucks, scooters, autocabs, tractor wagons, etc. proceed across behind the big truck. Everything stops. Other vehicles see the jam and think, I'll just proceed in the wrong lane and make matters worse, (but at least I'll be ahead of you!) Now picture the narrow 1 1/2 lane bridge solidly packed bumper to bumper with all vehicles going whichever way they want! Many of the drivers get out and hold a loud conference on the bridge. Other drivers are blasting the horn (because that is always so helpful!) About an hour into this frustrating fiasco, some one finally decides to back up. Others follow suit, and after a half hour or so, the driver starts our van, and we are off as if nothing happened! This happens nightly!! Are we just critical, or would it be easier to post a policeman at either end of the bridge with a walkie talkie, and let each lane go for 5 minutes and then switch?
Picture key: 1-the team visiting in the village (Phil was sick), 2-Judy, Brenda and Krista in a rice paddy, 3-the students of the new Miryalguda SDA School with their Beanie Babies!, 4-the ladies in the village.