Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I like driving in my car

It's certainly not a Jaguar either. Nor is it mine, it is in San's name in order to keep the bureaucracy to a minimum. Regardless, I've been driving about town in a white Maruti 800, not unlike the one in the link. Except mine has bull bars for maximum carnage potential. It's cheap and cheerful so it won't matter if it, inevitably, acquires any bumps. No pictures because San has taken the cameras to Hyderabad to stay with her parents for Diwali, I'm heading off on the weekend myself.

It's mighty 800cc engine is fine for the local driving conditions, speed is ill advised here. Having said that I have seen two Porsches recently: one Boxster and a Cayenne. How a Boxster copes with the potholes I don't know. The Cayenne shouldn't have too much trouble, but a Porsche off-roader is just fundamentally wrong. I find driving here more entertaining than I thought I would. The lack of rules is quite liberating. You can drive like Mr Toad without upsetting anyone, because everyone else drives the same way. Red lights are advisory, give way is a foreign concept, and overtaking can be carried out anywhere. The main trick is to assume any vehicle will attempt to pass you, cut you up, or drive straight at you at the earliest opportunity. Once you know this, the crazy logic required for driving begins to fall into place. Someone described it as a real life game of Tetris - got to fill those gaps.

I've mainly made a few short drives to local shops and restaurants, but last Saturday I drove to the town centre. I impressed myself by flawlessly navigating the route from memories of auto-rickshaw journeys and a quick look at Google Earth before I left. The drive took me past the five star hotel where Angelina Jolie and some bloke called Brad, who's tagging along with her, are staying. Pune, on grounds of security, is standing in for Karachi, Pakistan, in a Hollywood film about Daniel Pearl. Considering what happened to Mr Pearl in Pakistan it's probably a wise decision. The Times of India newspaper has devoted endless column inches to their, and their retinue's, antics. A picture of a Sun paparazzo being throttled by a bodyguard being my personal highlight. The return journey was less successful as a road closure forced me off course. After about five minutes of hopeful solar navigation I spotted a sign to Aundh indicating that I was getting closer. Bonus marks are deserved because the sign was in Hindi - औंध.


Blogger Ashish said...


Came to your blog via India Mike. You write well... and I think we are neighbors ! I too stay in Baner.. and have that Mountain with the temple on top at the back of my flat !

Cheers !


3:02 AM

Blogger JamesW said...

Thanks, you're right about us being neighbours. I'm staying in Eve's Garden, near the Symantec office.

9:54 AM

Blogger Ashish said...

Cool. I stay at a place called Nikash Skies, its at the back of Rajwada

10:42 PM


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