Three hundred Indian Rupees – that’s what I spent for getting the Indian version of drivers’ licence. (Well, I had it cheap, some others would have spent more)
I have spent about 700 Euros till date – for the same, but the German version of it. I should account for another 700 Euros – at least.
If you do that math, you can see that it is already more than 100 times expensive. Wow!
Now, is it worth that much of money? I guess yes. Back home, we don’t have any rules per se. Many a time, it IS the will-power of the drivers which decides – who gets the road first. Keep away from accidents, do whatever you want to do – this is all what we do. If others want to be safe, let them keep away from me. (Can you not see it in the first picture?)
The rule of ‘drive on the left of the road’ has changed to ‘drive on what is left on the road’. (courtesy: someone) [Look at the picture on the left: Is there any space ‘left’ on the road?]
I would call it “aggressive driving”. I was glad to be one of those who always managed to be the first one to get the road. I had never gone against the rules which existed there. I have almost always obeyed the signals, one-way-traffic, etc. I was just FAST and RASH.
[one might want to read : Rude Drivers Reduce Traffic Jams ]
In Germany: One has to follow the rules – very strictly. And there are gazillions of them (sample on the right side). Each and every single one of them are quite logical and very sensible. The problems I face are mainly:
- My teacher is a typical Bavarian person with strong accent. (hard to understand him)
- I have driven a LOT in India and the whole system is in the wrong side. (loads to unlearn)
- I have chosen to do everything in German - (despite of the possibility to do it in English)
- I am in a city where traffic is definitely more than the average – even for German standards
It is a big Paradigm Shift – as far as I see. A total change in philosophy of driving. I have to unlearn a lot of stuff. And German words do bamboozle me at times. (The final picture shows the result of following the traffic rules)
Altogether – loads of FUN. :) Challenge is fun. Isn’t it?
One should go and live abroad (at least for sometime) – far from his own culture and get into the foreign culture. Then he would discover himself better. He might have frictions with the people, there would be things he would find stupid in them, and they in him. But at the end of day, it will pay off.
People from his culture may not like him for the change. But he himself would be content about himself, would be able to accept different things, would be open to things; would definitely mess things up – but, much less than others. :)
Signing off, Sands.
PS: Don’t you think, given the amount of chaos on Indian roads, we have very few accidents?
PPS: I forgot the links from I copied the pictures! Not able to link to them. Oops!