Friday, September 08, 2006

Excuse For Speed

If this Swiss driver did not have to pay a fine for speeding, his excuse would have warmed many a desi heart. In my town, dowager cows sat in large groups in the middle of the road.

In the peak of summer it was not unusual to have a power-outage at night. I remember being able to see the bovine island only when the headlights of the car shone into the limpid pools of their sleep heavy eyes. The remarkable thing about these animals was that they did not stir an inch no matter what was hurtling down their way. It was up to the driver to navigate around them - swishing tails, projecting horns and all.

We had an abundance of jaywalking goats too. They ignored the traffic and the blaring air horns just like the cows did. Dogs and cats were remarkably different in the sharpness of their reflexes as their survival depended on it. Unlike the cows and the goats, they were strays and more valuable dead than alive.

Driving in my town was quite a bit like going on an African safari (we did have an abundance of trees) and sightings were guaranteed. When I first arrived in this country, I had a very hard time controlling my desire to speed given the complete absence of animals on the roads. It was freedom unlike I had ever known before.

1 comment:

SFGary said...

The present day equivalent of cows resting or ambling about in the middle of a busy road is the cellphone toting driver. They weave and drift over lanes, make turns without the aid of turn signals and have to be prodded to drive when the traffic lights turn green or worse do the mental one one thousand bit before you go thru a green light. Apparently to them a red light is just a suggestion to stop if they can.