Monday, December 21, 2009

Driving in Thailand

To get around Thailand, I've ridden in taxis, tour buses, tuk-tuks, and songtaew (public transport converted from pick-up trucks). Regardless, the driving philosophy is consistent. Unlike drivers on S'porean roads who are fixated on their right-of-way and what "should" or "is supposed to be" and drive so grumpily because road conditions seldom suit them, Thai drivers deal with what's in front of them -- they deal with the "is".

If someone is slow in front, change lane. If lane changing is impossible for the moment, brake. If lane changing requires a bust of ridiculous acceleration and an immediate course correction, hit the gas and manoeuvre accordingly. There is no ill-tempered driving nor curses, raised fists or fingers. The horn if sounded is more for information, "careful, I'm here," rather than imperious, petulant demands to "get out of the way".

Yes, there were hair-raising moments on the winding, often narrow and dark stretches of roads in CMX, but we survived to tell the tale, anyway.

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