Saturday, 23 May 2015

Hoot when confused - leaving Ella

The road from Ella to Mirissa was a fascinating one for a number of reasons.  I must pause here to talk briefly about the hooligan bus drivers, especially those driving the (red) government buses.  If I was asked to describe their motoring capability in two words they would be 'misplaced confidence'.  Crazy speeds in the worst possible places; reckless beyond belief in an environment of very little anticipation.  The amalgamation of buses, tuk-tuks, bicycles, motorbikes, pedestrians and an abundance of both very fast and very slow moving cars, creates a never-ending story of madness, drama, a bit of love and a lot of humour.   

There are a few absolute rules of the road in Sri Lanka.  It must be remembered that this is not something I have studied extensively, it is purely appreciated through observation. The first is one that is extremely prevalent throughout Asia, stating that on any given road, when one or more vehicles interact, the biggest will always have the right of way.  Something I have never seen before is the accepted behaviour when approaching a busy road or motorway, even if you are doing so on a scooter from a driveway or narrow side-street.  Move cautiously, at nothing more than a snails pace, maintaining this speed as you turn directly into whatever traffic there may be, without even glancing  at what may be hurtling towards you.  Vehicles, often travelling at considerable speed, expect the unexpected at all times, which brings me to the next very important regulation.  If confused, just hoot.  Hoot when approaching any road, parked car, bicycle, pedestrian or animal.  Hoot also if there is a vehicle travelling too slowly in front of you, when you're overtaking any vehicle, if you see your friend or if you're just in the mood to hoot.

Luckily we managed to avoid the odd collision and stopped near Wellawaya to have a look at Buduruwagala's remote location and impressive carved Buddha's.  A while later we witnessed the somewhat bizarre sight of a woman spreading her rice out on the motorway, with the intention of it drying.  According to our driver it was not such a busy motorway which is, I suppose, slightly reassuring.    

No comments:

Post a Comment