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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Horns and Whistles

As you can tell, Dave has been doing an excellent job with the posts, so I thought I would add some color commentary.
The sounds of this country are incredible,some might say obnoxious. They honk for everything...letting you know they are behind you, letting you know they are passing, letting you know they really like your bike, etc. The type & duration of the honks all have special meaning. Short honks are informational; longer honks have a bit more urgency. A series of honks may be saying hello to a friend, making plans to return, etc. As you lay in your hotel bed, you are listening to their personal communications. Have yet to see anger or hand gestures...that isn't their culture. But they will let you know if they don't like something, but it doesn't have an anger component attached to it.
As part of 'man training', the teenagers whistle, & they are good at it. A shrill whistle riding thru a town can be a bit unnerving to a motorcycle rider just trying to dodge cars, pedestrians, pigs, dogs & other assorted farm life. Since they don't have cars, they whistle with the same variety as car horns. The more experienced cab drivers use a combination of both...pretty effective stuff.
Another related aspect is if you don't presently occupy a space, it's open for the taking. Quite common for approaching traffic to come at you in half of your lane, or if you take a wide corner, they will take that space from you, then it is a matter of who establishes an 'overlap' first to see who gets lead priority. To survive, you have to compete at their level...just like driving in Italy...if you are meek..you lose.

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