I make a lot of assumptions in life. When you make assumptions, you tend not to ask important questions. For example, I assumed that when I arrived in India my driver would pick me up in an air conditioned sedan…NOT. As I stand outside at 12:30AM, the humidity drenching my body, not looking too fresh after my two days of travel, my driver arrives in a small hatchback without air conditioning. An initial wave of panic sets in, but instantly washes away. I’m in India after all, embrace it! So I embarked on my three hour drive to Pune with the windows open.
I assumed there wouldn’t be traffic; it was 1:00AM after all. Who would be out this time of night? Answer: Everyone! It was the most amazing thing. Cars and trucks everywhere and my driver weaving in and out of them like one of my son’s video games.
I assumed that honking one’s horn is rude. Nope, it’s rude and dangerous if you don’t honk your horn. The trucks (very colorfully, painted trucks) have signs on them, “HONK OK HONK” , “PLEASE HONK PLEASE” , “O- HONK PLEASE HONK – K”. And what an array of honking sounds! There are the regular horns I am used to in America, there are squeaking-clown-car–like horns, there are horns that sound like vuvuzelas, horns that sound like bicycle bells (except very loud),there are musical horns, there are horns that sound like bassoons, there are trumpet-like horns, there are even horns that sound like elephants!
I could list a half a dozen other assumptions but I will save those for another time. Welcome to India!