Friday, November 24, 2006

Don't Drive Angry

I am waiting yet another delayed flight - this time out of Kathmandu en route to Bangkok. I thought I would share a thought about the driving in Nepal. Initially, it all seems like craziness - I mean total chaos. In theory you drive on the left hand side of the road - yet really people use whatever lane is most convenient. It is completely common to have multiple cars across the street facing each other in an oncoming "Chicken Fight" and then to swerve back into the left lane at the last second. And I mean literally second - to continue on within centimeters of other people, cars, cows, buses, rickshaws, you name it. Eventually the chaos seems to make sense and it begins to flow and channel into a living organism that just works.

Add to the system all the sounds - particularly the honking. Now - the magnitude of the honking in every respect cannot be understated. However - the honking is not like the American, "F-U" Honk. It is solely to say, "Hey Man - watch out - I am here, don't want to hit you, and need to move through this space - so work with me." There is no anger - no impatience - no stress to the driving or honking.

So - what's the point? Well - part of PAYING attention to things when you travel involves reflecting on experience and looking at the applications. One very simple lesson I will be bringing home is "Don't Drive Angry." The horn is a friend :o) Now I know for all you city-folk, the traffic in Jackson Hole is pretty much non-existent. Yet I know what it is like and on occasion actually do go to city! :o)
And as chaotic as we think our traffic is in the cities - come to Kathmandu and your paradigm will shift - huge....

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