View Full Version : Driving in Africa? You need your head read!

4th Aug 2011, 08:27
The US had “Wrong Way” Corrigan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Corrigan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Corrigan) and the UK has Chay Blyth but Nigeria and many other parts of Arica (including South Africa) have a wrong way problem and taxis are often at the pointy end of this descent into traffic chaos.

While many people may agree that you would need your head examined to drive in the wrong direction down a one-way street in Nigeria's mega-city Lagos, few expected to see it enshrined in law.

Ignoring road signs in the sprawling lagoon city can already earn you a fine of £100. But now you could be sent for a psychiatric evaluation, too, as the commercial capital of Africa's most populous nation tries to end the practice of wrong-way driving.
Lagos traffic is legendary and locals' efforts to escape it are by turns inspired and terrifying. VIP convoys that thunder along the crumbling spurs of bridges that criss-cross the lagoon often hire traffic police to ride shotgun and clear the way for them.

The city's "go slows" are such a feature of life that entire street markets spring up daily to supply every conceivable need of those stuck in the traffic jam, from the latest bootlegged Nollywood movies to religious self-help books. Gangs of street children lay sand traps in unpaved areas and then charge stranded motorists for the pleasure of being dug out. Motorcycle taxis that swarm all over the city deploy the same horns as big trucks to scare people out of the way.

Most Lagos residents are not intimidated easily though, with taxi drivers often abandoning their fares to berate armed traffic police, who can then respond by letting down the tyres of offenders to stop them from driving off or attempting to run them over. Most drivers in Lagos – knowing that those with money will side-step the law – dismiss the psychiatric evaluations as another layer of bureaucracy to contend with.

Where do PPuNers think the world's worst drivers abide and where would be one be "mad" to drive?


unstable load
4th Aug 2011, 10:16
Where do PPuNers think the world's worst drivers abide and where would be one be "mad" to drive?

Lagos would certainly be one of them. I had a few white knuckle drives at the mercy of Rio and Manaus taxi drivers, too.

4th Aug 2011, 10:47
Malta has it's moments of madness.

4th Aug 2011, 11:14
Just been in Marrakech.. complete insanity, highlights included little Yamaha 50cc mopeds with toddler on handlebars, dad driving, mum and baby riding pillion and granny riding 2nd pillion.. Priceless.:ok:

4th Aug 2011, 11:25
Where do PPuNers think the world's worst drivers abide and where would be one be "mad" to drive?

Los Angeles based joke..

Q. How do you know when a Korean has moved into your neighborhood?

A. All the Mexicans go out and get car insurance.

4th Aug 2011, 11:27
Tehran traffic and drivers are pretty bad as well. Tail gating seems compulsory on the highways and lane discipline is for other people.

4th Aug 2011, 15:31
ittle Yamaha 50cc mopeds with toddler on handlebars, dad driving, mum and baby riding pillion and granny riding 2nd pillion.

You've missed the dead goat on shoulders which his also a regular occurrence.

4th Aug 2011, 18:39
Where do PPuNers think the world's worst drivers abide and where would be one be "mad" to drive?

Marseilles is hell. It is virtually a North African city anyway, with the driving standards that are to be expected.

4th Aug 2011, 19:58
Turkey was pretty bad. And the horn is virtually an MEL item. If it goes u/s you pretty much can't drive the car.

Korea was also a nightmare. I think the Koreans only paint lane marking on the roads as a work-fare program to keep road painters employed, because no one pays them a blind bit of attention.

And on the highways the Koreans have a funny habit of occupying two lanes at once. They'll move from, say, the middle lane into either the left or right lane, but only partially, as thought they aren't fully emotionally committed to the new lane so that means they aren't really in it and are somehow invisible to the car behind. Then they'll move back over into the original lane, seemingly feeling much more emotionally secure in that lane so willing to occupy it fully. A very strange habit.

C130 Techie
4th Aug 2011, 20:04
Agree with comment on Rio cab drivers. Similar scary experiences in Pisa and Istanbul.

eastern wiseguy
4th Aug 2011, 20:16
Luxor...the switching off of headlights at night and trusting to Inshallah scared the poo out me....

4th Aug 2011, 20:23
Johannesburg can be pretty nasty too. Be careful before you go make believe bang bang at a black taxi lest you find a grinning face with an AK47 outgunning your feeble flapping hand.

4th Aug 2011, 21:26
My most unforgettable taxi ride, I nearly caused an international incident.

The date, November, 1979. The place, Tel Aviv, Israel. The occasion, going to the airport from the hotel. Mode of transportation, Muslim taxi. (yes, a Muslim taxi with a Muslim driver)

We get picked up at the hotel early that morning, it was humid and there were patches of fog around. So we jump into the taxi, my partner gets in the back seat and I get up front with the driver for the leg room and off we go. As in many areas of the world, the horn is considered an offense driving weapon, as in 'Honk,honk get the hell out of the way'. Also at this point, I feel that I need to point out that to our driver, size of the opposition vehicles meant nothing, he would have not given way to an Abrams Tank, even if it was firing at him.

As we speed through the little side streets heading toward the airport, people must have recognized this taxi and driver. Before he can honk his horn people are scattering like flushed out quail. It was like being in a movie, people jumping over boxes, people climbing anything they can get a hand hold on and women and children running in fear of their lives trying to get out of the way of this out of control taxi and its madly honking horn.

Because it was so humid, the inside of windshield started to fog up. In a few minutes it was nearly completely fogged over. The driver occasionally rubbed a small spot clear that was just in front of his nose. In other words, he could not see a damn thing. So now all I can see are dark shadows popping up just in front of the taxi, then leaping off to one side or the other. So now the driver turns on the windshield wipers. That ain't going to work.

'Okay' I think, I'm a pilot, I know all about technical stuff, like a car's defrost system. So, I look at the heat/air conditioning system controls, the taxi is an old Ford or Chevy and the panel is written in English. So I reach over, flip the fan on high and the vent selector on defrost to blow air in the windshield. That works in every other place in the world. Right then, problem sorted.


The second the driver realizes what I did, he slams on the brakes, damn never throwing me into the floorboards, put the transmission in park, opens his door and jumps out. Then he starts yelling and screaming in Arabic, waving his hands over his head as he runs around the now stopped taxi, which is sitting in the middle of the street.

Now my partner in the back seat, who has not spoken a word since we left the hotel says, "Not a real smooth move there sport."

Now there is a crowd collecting around us and I remember thinking, 'Don't all these people have a place to be?' In this crowd I don't see any friendly faces and I am way too young to die by being torn apart by an angry mob.

Then the calvary arrives in the form of an police car. Two police officers get out, one goes and talks to our still yelling driver, while the other talks to some people in the crowd. Then after a few minutes the officer talking to the driver comes over to me.

In rather good English (thank God) he asks me a series of questions. First he asked me for my identification, I hand it to him.

"Americans huh."

"Yes sir."

"Why are you in Israel?"

I explain to him that we are pilots and were there at the invitation of the Israeli Government to pick up an aircraft.

"Pilots huh."

Again I meekly reply, "Yes sir."

Then he explains to me, much as one would to a young child, that here, in Israel, taxi drivers are like pilots of their taxi, therefore, just as a pilot does not like their passengers to fool around with the controls of their aircraft, neither do the drivers of the local taxicabs.

Then he goes on to tell me that he had calmed down the driver and if I would get out and apologize to the driver, he would finish the trip to the airport, with us as his passengers. Naturally I agreed, then I as I got out of the taxi, the officer tells me that the driver speaks no English at all, so it really didn't matter what I said, just as long as I look friendly and acted remorseful.

It didn't matter what I said I asked again, he said no, just look like you're sorry. :E

So I had a very remorseful expression on my face when I told him what he could do with that taxi.

Apparently word of what had happened got back to powers to be, as starting that day when we returned to the hotel and the three weeks we stayed waiting for the aircraft to be made ready for flight, we were driven everywhere in an Israeli government car with a government driver. We were sternly informed, 'No more taxis'. :uhoh:

bugg smasher
5th Aug 2011, 00:38
Kinshasa, bar none.

Hit someone accidentally, not hard to do in that African maelstrom, the throngs will mob you, pull you forcefully out of your transport, and rend you limb from limb. Without so much as a by your leave.

The experienced Lufthansa and former Sabena crews here present will back me up on this one.

John Eacott
5th Aug 2011, 01:01
It's been many years, but driving in Nigeria still brings a smile or three ;)

Hazard flashers, we all know what they're for, right? How about approaching a crossroads and going straight ahead, ie left/right at the same time: that is what hazard flashers are for :p

Windscreen wipers? Of course, they're there to keep the stones of the screen on a dirt road :eek:

Lagos, T junction with the lights on red for the crossing road. Two lanes of traffic each way, then three, then four lanes....then the lights go green and they just drive at each other :cool:

We needed to turn right into the other road. No problem, down into the monsoon ditch and drive around the corner while leaning perilously into the water :rolleyes:

Traffic entertainment: motorbike cop pulls up a few cars ahead, drags a taxi driver out of his cab and after a short exchange starts whipping him with a handy horsewhip.
"Samuel, what for he do that?"
"Eh, dirty taxi"

Of course it was :hmm:

Not to mention the road block going home at night manned by off duty cops with .303's rested casually on the driver's door as they ask for Dash :E

You couldn't make it up.

Big Tudor
5th Aug 2011, 01:23
First time in my life I was utterly convinced I was about to die. Travelling from Yogyakarta back to Solo City on a normal two lane road, ahead of us a coach was attempting to overtake a lorry; lorry doing 40mph, coach doing 40.1mph. This was taking far to long for our driver, so he decided to undertake the lorry on the grass verge. :eek: I swear I was close enough to the road-side shop that I could have reached out of the passenger window and grabbed a bottle of coke off the shelf.
The same was happening in the opposite lane as well. 6 lanes of traffic in a space that was designed for 2.

5th Aug 2011, 03:09
Apparently word of what had happened got back to powers to be, as starting that day when we returned to the hotel and the three weeks we stayed waiting for the aircraft to be made ready for flight, we were driven everywhere in an Israeli government car with a government driver. We were sternly informed, 'No more taxis'.

What a superb anecdote Con. I trust you are writing your memoirs! :ok:

Actually, it seems we all have had "taxi" moments!


5th Aug 2011, 07:24
Port Harcourt for me with passengers on motor bikes carrying sheets of glass or coffins on their heads and taxi drivers going around roundabouts the wrong way to speed up the trip!!

5th Aug 2011, 08:51
I am always quite relieved to arrive at PuDong airport from Shanghai and vice versa. Just how do I manage to get the taxi that is 20mph faster than the rest? In my ten visits to Shanghai I have never been overtaken on the airport road by another taxi.

A few years ago I was in Jepara, Central Java. I made the fatal mistake of asking for a good driver. Never, ever, ask for a "good driver". The good driver turned up in a Isuzu Trooper or equivalent and proceeded to set off for Semerang at speed. Unfortunately he was only second fastest on the road as a bus started to overtake us at the usual 1mph faster. The rear of the bus had a Guns ‘n Roses decal painted on the back.

The road at that time was under repair, a few miles of decent road and a few miles of “broken” road. On the broken road our good driver would somehow get past the bus only to be forced to concede on the good road. At one point my pal was texting his wife as he genuinely felt he was going to die.

Somehow we survived the journey only for the driver to blow up the engine at the first set of lights in Semerang. We jumped out gave him the $40 fare and walked off not daring to look back to see how he was getting on.

Even now fifteen years on, every time I meet up with my pal we still talk about Guns ‘n Roses.

5th Aug 2011, 14:14
Oddly enouigh, I found that driving in the Cape town area of South Africa was the politest place I had ever driven in, provided one moved over the yellow line when rubber-necking the scenery!!

5th Aug 2011, 14:39
Whenever someone mentions Seoul I think of this bloke:ooh:



Hang on, I thought 800 x 600 pictures were meant to fit OK here:confused:

5th Aug 2011, 17:29
Philippines. It's like giving driving licences to 8 year olds. No test, no insurance, no regard for the prescribed rules and regulations. The authorities do their best but the population ignores them. Complete chaos.:sad:

5th Aug 2011, 18:37
A taxi ride in Venezuela:

Some of the taxis there were modern miracles in the sense that how they were running is anyones guess, but we got in to one only to discover that the floor had rotted out completely in the back. The exhaust was blowing directly in to the car, so the driver was driving down the road with his head out of the window. We all followed his lead so as not to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.

5th Aug 2011, 23:20
Tehran or Delhi.

Unfortunately I don't have access to what I wrote after a recent trip to Tehran, but this The exhaust was blowing directly in to the car, so the driver was driving down the road with his head out of the window. We all followed his lead so as not to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. was a frequent ocurrence. I also had a one eyed driver, and another who was using two phones simultaneously, one in each hand, whilst steering with his knees and slipping the clutch instead of changing gear.

5th Aug 2011, 23:42
As mentioned earlier, Malta has to be up there.
A friend who loaned me his flat for a week cautioned " if you take a hire car be careful, in some places in europe people drive on the right and in others on the left, in Malta they drive in the shade !"

5th Aug 2011, 23:49
I'll qualify this by saying I've been in some dodgy taxis in Malta, India, Fiji, and God knows where but...

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England.

Half pissed and wanting to go to another pub just over a mile away but it was hammering it down. Phone mini-cab. Usual battered Celica turns up and off we go. Old Hamid is clearly enjoying the Imam he has loudly on the stereo and encourages me to join in the chants. Turning onto a normal two lane residential road that has been changed into a series of chicanes by badly parked battered Celica mini-cabs he put his foot down and mid chant side-swiped one on the near side. The window next to me shattered and the door bulged in. Hamid is almost oblivious to the incident. "My brothers car, I tell him later". Trying to find a tissue to get the piece of window out of my cheek and keep the blood off my shirt he pulls up at the pub and helpfully gets out and tries to open the door which is jammed and totally knackered. I crawl across the drivers seat and get out holding a couple of his cheap business cards on the face to keep the blood stemmed. Hamid is unfazed by this and holding his hand out says "three pounds sir?". Stunned, I pay and give him a 50p tip.

Top businessman.

6th Aug 2011, 02:40
All the taxi stories reminded me of the contract cabs we had at my air base in Korea in the mid-90s. They were the only ones approved to come onto base, so had a good gig going bringing drunk GIs back from the bars. The cars were all the same model (I don't remember which) and painted blue, and driven like they were stolen, hence the moniker "Blue Bullets"

One really caught my attention, though, when I got in and noticed that the airbag had blown at some time in the past and had merely been crammed back in, and the vinyl steeringwheel/airbag cover had been STAPLED closed!

How do these guys think these things work? Assuming for even a second that the airbag was actually serviceable, I shudder to think what the extra holes would do in terms of giving the bag new weak points at which to shred under the explosive inflation, and, also, what are those staples going to do to some poor sucker's face when they come at him at the speed of sound?

Dan Winterland
6th Aug 2011, 04:39
Suprised no one's mentioned India yet. Truly terrifying where the side of the road you drive on being the side in the shade, and where the truckers take Khat so they can drive for 36 hours without stopping - and they all worship Kali, the godess of destruction.

China can appear to be bad, but the style of driving seems to work. It was explained as the ''Zen Philosophy'' of driving to me. You flow like water and make sure you don't hit anything. The problem I have when going back to Europe is adjusting to the western style of driving. I do things on the road in Asia without anyone bothering, but will get your head kicked in at the next set of traffic lights in the UK as a victim of ''road rage''. And the converse works too. After a month in Europe, I found myself getting annoyed at two taxi drivers who cut me up yesterday. Need to chill, but my humour wasn't improved by getting a speeding ticket in the first two miles of my journey!

As for accidents in crew transport, I've had two in China, but three in Dubai where drivers get employed straight off the boat and given a V8 limo to drive when the biggest thing they've driven before is a tuk tuk!

Worrals in the wilds
6th Aug 2011, 11:57
Philippines. It's like giving driving licences to 8 year olds. I knew a Driving Instructor whose company specialised in foreign licence conversions. He said it would take several lessons to convince most Fillipino drivers to stop at stop signs and remain stopped at red lights. He learned this the hard way with his first Fillipino student who made an unindicated right hand turn on a red arrow across three lanes of oncoming traffic in a matchbox sized driving school car. Reckons it was the first time he ever swore at a student :eek:.

India's awesome. The four way overtake (your taxi overtaking a truck, that's overtaking another truck, that's overtaking a donkey cart, all in the face of three oncoming trucks doing the same thing in the opposite direction except their cart's got an ox at the front...on a nominally two lane road that's winding around a mountain :eek::mad:).

Ganeesha protects them though, in his 'small plastic lightup dashboard ornament' incarnation...Even my devoutly Catholic Dear Ol' Dad was a firm Ganeesha supporter after a week of Indian drivers :}. That said, getting stuck in a traffic jam in front of a real live goods-carrying elephant is kind of cool, particularly when there's a brand new top-of-the-range Mercedes beside it. Much cooler than being stuck behind one I imagine, could get a bit...splashy :eek:.

6th Aug 2011, 13:32
A taxi ride in Delhi :

We were in one of India’s ubiquitous Hindustan Ambassadors, a 1930’s design which has barely changed over the years, and which, to misquote Henry Ford, is available in any shade of grey. The horn never stopped blaring as we wove our way past, or rather, through, the whirling maelstroms of ancient cars, rickshaws, unlit but garishly decorated lorries looming out of the dust and belching evil smelling smoke blacker than the surrounding night, cows, and suicidal pedestrians. The rule of the road is driving on the left. What this means is 'drive on any part of the roadway which is left free'. The only order to Indian driving is chaos, the closest I have experienced being the dodgem cars at the funfair. Most vehicles have a sign on the back, the commonest being ‘Horn Please’, and ‘Keep Distance’. The constant hooting is not aggression, but a reflex more natural to Indian drivers than breathing. The miracle is that there are so few accidents – sadly those that do occur are usually serious. Overtaking, or just getting into any vehicle on the overcrowded roads, is simply an act of faith in God – there is no other way to explain it in a country where a two lane road contains four or five lanes of jousting traffic. Skill and judgement do not enter the equation. So few vehicles have tyres with visible tread that I wonder if somewhere there is a factory producing slicks for the Indian market. Lights are a rare luxury, the most important piece of equipment on any vehicle being a powerful and strident horn. When I once needed a really vicious horn for my car in Europe, I made a point of buying it in India.
In the large cities, most of the modern vehicles are locally produced versions of popular small Japanese models, but one sees the occasional Mercedes, usually with diplomatic numberplates, cruising serenely through the chaotically gyrating streams of traffic without a scratch on its immaculate gleaming paintwork. This proves that there is some divine force at work protecting the innocent and the foolish.

The first time I saw three people on a motor scooter, I gave a second glance. They looked happy and comfortable. Then I saw four. Not long after that I started counting. Up to now, I have seen three adults, two children, and a baby all perched, balanced, or hanging on to a scooter. I still look, but somehow can’t visualise this record of six being broken. No doubt, somewhere, not far away, there are seven people on a two wheeler. In the meantime, five doesn’t merit a turn of the head.

6th Aug 2011, 15:24
Sri Lanka. The worst driving I have ever, ever seen or been involved in. Terrifying is too simple a word to describe the chaotic ballet that is the main road from Colombo to Gaulle.

6th Aug 2011, 15:48
Hindustan Ambassadors, a 1930’s design

Wrong. It is a licence built version of the 1954 Morris Cowley and as so probably equals the VW record for the most number of a model built.

6th Aug 2011, 15:51
I've stopped talking about Nigeria. Those who have been there have seen it all. Those who haven't do not believe.

After an excellent landing etc...

6th Aug 2011, 22:52
Another piece of stunningly bad driving that I have observed was actually done by myself.

Back in my Venezuela days I worked in Apure, in the south west of the country. (where the documentaries about anacondas are filmed).

Anyway we used to drive Toyota Landcruisers pick ups, no a/c or power steering and the temperatures there used to go way above 100 degrees. Anyway one day I was driving on a stretch of road that went on for miles and miles of straight road. We had eaten lunch and as there was no speed limit so I was busting along at about 100 mph, with a load of fertilizer in the bed. It was about 2 p.m. and the windows are down, lots of noise. All of a sudden I think to myself "I'm going to fall asleep" Really.................no.........not me........not now...........Anyway the next thing I know is the old guy I was driving with is screaming his head off and I wake up to see him holding onto the grab bar in front of him staring straight ahead. There is grass and all sorts of stuff flying over the hood. I get us back on the road with my heart beating a million miles an hour. I was now obviously fully awake and had to apologise profusely to my passenger.

If I remember correctly he insisted on driving from that point on.

6th Aug 2011, 23:18
Hindustan Ambassador - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustan_Ambassador)

7th Aug 2011, 02:52
I have lived and driven in a number of countries already mentioned in this thread: Malta, Italy and the Philippines.

I will readily concede that the driving in each of these nations leaves something to be desired.

However, the Arabian Gulf GCC nations are without doubt the most dangerous places in the World in which to drive. I spent 10 years living and working in Qatar and about 5 yrs ago spent some time working on a local road safety group. This gave me access to unpublished government data on road deaths in car crashes but did not include pedestrian fatalities. This revealed Qatar to have the highest per capita deaths in road accidents in the World. Transferred to UK it would have meant around 60,000 deaths per year! :eek:

It was not uncommon on my 40 min drive to work each day to see people - obviously dead - being pulled out of wrecks. Worst was a bus that had rolled down an embankment and at least 5 bodies lying under covers.

Two of my colleagues killed in RTAs.:{

I therefore nominate Qatar (but only marginally behind KSA and UAE).

7th Aug 2011, 08:05
Taxis in Tehran

Had an interesting taxi ride through the seething traffic, with a one eyed driver who got lost on the way to the Homa Hotel, which is about as much of a landmark here as Marble Arch in London so I wondered how much he could see. However his taxi didn’t have a mark on it and he seemed to be able to squeeze his car at high speed through gaps in the traffic before they even appeared. Maybe there is a God! I don’t understand how they get so close to the other cars without actually hitting them.

The next morning's taxi driver didn’t get lost after having practised on the two previous days. *I have finally grasped the art of driving here. *You have to be in the wrong lane for whatever your next movement is going to be, *so when turning left you must be in the farthest right hand lane, and vice versa. *Immediately before the required turning place, *you put your indicator on and turn. It’s so simple I can’t believe that the backward drivers in other places haven’t thought of this (Cape Town k-taxis being the notable exception). *The fact that there may be 12 lanes of traffic between you and the target turn-off is quite irrelevant, you simply ignore that fact and squeeze through the gaps, as they are probably doing the same thing in the opposite direction. The remarkable thing is that you see Mercs and Landcruisers and so on, all totally unscathed, doing the same. * This morning most of the cars had snow on them and the drivers were just peering through holes they’d cleared in the front window. *Obviously having restricted vision is an asset when driving here, I now understand why I was quite safe with the one-eyed driver. *I will not be surprised if my next taxi driver has a white stick or a guide dog.

Most of the taxis should have been scrapped 20 years ago. I've had taxis with no windows, large chunks of the floor pan corroded away, exhaust blowing directly into the cabin, the passenger seat sliding around on the floor, and one where the gear lever appeared to be attached to its mounting with cable ties.


7th Aug 2011, 08:36
Cape Town k-taxis being the notable exception

If the following news is true then all I can say is "my liewe God"! The drivers are just one facet of the problem, monkey wrenches for steering wheels are another. What can we expect next, colanders for yokes?

Taxi industry set to fly - literally - IOL Motoring Industry News | IOL.co.za (http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/taxi-industry-set-to-fly-literally-1.1090828)

Talk about bizzare, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) has announced that it is launching a low-cost airline.

“I can see some of you rolling your eyes because of how our taxi drivers drive... I can assure you we won't allow our taxi drivers to drive the planes,” Santaco business development officer Nkululeko Buthelezi told potential investors and reporters in Johannesburg.

Jokes take off alongside South Africa taxi airline plans - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/jokes-off-alongside-south-africa-taxi-airline-plans-125048063.html)


7th Aug 2011, 10:52
Sri Lanka. The worst driving I have ever, ever seen or been involved in. Terrifying is too simple a word to describe the chaotic ballet that is the main road from Colombo to Gaulle.
I have a Sri Lankan friend who is quite a good driver. She claims that when she visits Sri Lanka it takes her 3 days to start driving like the locals, and when she returns from there it takes her 3 days to start driving like an Australian again.

7th Aug 2011, 23:22
Monkey wrenches.... Three young blokes sharing a house in Oz, one buys a beat up old VW Combi. Go to pick her up after dark and discover the motor doesn't run and there's no steering wheel. Clip on a single self-locking plier and tow it home behind a Beetle. It happens; I shudder now.

8th Aug 2011, 13:05
I love the Ambassadors. I've had many taxi rides in them in India and prefer them over all other Indian taxis. The back seat is roomy and comfortable. The car has a longer wheelbase than most other Indian vehicles and gives a decent ride.

I've never driven in India and don't want to. I've seen the aftermaths of dozens of serious accidents, many of them fatal. More often than not they involved trucks which hog the road and force cars to get out their way - or else.

As mentioned earlier, horns are an essential part of every vehicle in India. I've noticed that every car and truck has a large, heavy duty one as they are in constant use in the congested streets.