The lessons from Delhi Traffic
New Delhi Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
I spent 3 hours on a route that usually takes 30minutes to get back to the office in Pitumpura. I thought I have accomplished something great since I have never been trapped in a car for so long. I thought I beat people from developed cities with convenient transportation since I made the best out of my traffic jam experience. And so there I was, coming back in my office telling my colleagues how I survived and managed to come back before 5pm. And the response I got was “That’s why Delhi is the city to be. This is why you came here.”
I was perplexed for a moment. Then I realize how ignorant I was, I was still thinking in my little box, resembling norms that I see others are living in.
“Working in India is an eye-opening experience.” This is not a plain statement that can be seen in any typical post-trip evaluation. In the few weeks here, I learn to see things from different perspectives, understand how we can solve problem flexibly. I learned so much just by being in a traffic jam. When you can do nothing while being stuck in a traffic ham, why not leave your car, invest your precious time on a cup of chai tea? Like many other drivers who left their car once they knew the jam is going to be long, my Indian colleague persuaded me to leave the comfy taxi I was in, and led me to the source of the line of traffic.
So it was a flood (a puddle after the heavy rain) that caused the traffic jam. Again, my Indian colleague kindly used his Hindi language skills to ask for a ride back to town.
I took the metro and I loved the fact that people did not stop me from taking picture because I look like an ignorant tourists. I’ll admit, being the only East Asian might be intimidating especially with all the curious stares, but a metro ride can save so much time from being stuck in a traffic jam.
If the same incident happened in Hong Kong, no body would dare to leave their car for one second. They would complain, blame the local authority for the bad road construction. They would grumble on and on about their precious time and make this traffic jam the headline in every conversation they are in for the next 2 weeks (or even months). We have interesting mentality: Why is it my responsibility to solve my problem when there is a higher authority to blame? Why shouldn’t I complain if I know that everyone else in the traffic jam are as grumpy as I am?
In many ways, people in Delhi do more and complain less.
And like many people say, “If you could get through traffic in India, you can get through anything.”