Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

The autorickshaw we took to go to the tailor drove from the hotel, down a hill and over the bridge that crosses one of the several lakes in Udaipur, down a few paved roads and then headed into the streets in the City Palace area (the main touristy and shopping area) which are extremely narrow alleyways. No cars are allowed, and probably autorickshaws shouldn't be, as the alley was only a few inches wider than the autorickshaw.
If a bicycle was on the same street (there is no such thing as one-way traffic here), it would have to back out to let us pass. And since might makes right, they always did. Even pedestrians sometimes had to hop into storefronts to escape our path. It felt like being on one of those Disney World rides where you are in a little car on a track, and you swing around turns and it feels like you are going to hit the thing right in front of you but you suddenly sweep to the side within inches of the object. I stopped counting the close calls, because really it was just one long close call. The cows wandering around (yes, of course) seemed unimpressed, and usually let us pass without batting an eye, although once one cow stayed in the middle of the road, so of course we bonked it with the front of the autorickshaw. I swear I saw it roll its eyes before it lumbered aside.

No comments: