Traffic laws are optional in Pakistan. There are lanes, but people may or may not drive completely within a lane. There are traffic lights, but some don’t wait until the light turns green. Along the roads, there are signs pleading for drivers to follow the laws, but there is no point. By the time a good number of traffic lights were erected over the years, people were already set in there ways. Most people still don’t even wear seatbelts (the older cars don’t even have them available), allowing more people than the number of seats available to squeeze in a car and travel.
If you do wait obediently at a traffic light at a red and wait for the countdown to the green (there really is a digital countdown) and there is no traffic from the other roads, the cars behind you will honk until you go.
Beggars walk around stopped cars, tapping windows and asking for money while drivers and passengers make sure the doors are locked and ignore them. All types of people, men and women, young and old, walk around traffic and try to sell various wares to people in cars. I wonder what kind of living this type of vendor makes.
They all seem to know what they are doing with their crazy driving and incessent honking. I wonder how my uncle’s driver would function in a setting where you didn’t have to manuever around cars and people all the time. One of my cousins drives like a maniac, weaving at top speeds at close distances. He literally scared the hell out of all of us. After one such ride in which we all thought death was imminent, he turned around and said “Did you just hear a voice?” “Yeah,” I replied. “The voice of Allah.”
I can’t understand why something about this can’t be done. According to my cousins, there has been more traffic congestion lately, which promises to get worse. The problem is that they have added all these provisions that are supposed to help traffic, such as traffic lights, but people were already set in there ways by the time they are told to obey laws. Also, there don’t seem to be any traffic cops. They need to regulate this. This can’t be ok.
I think when I get back in the States, I need to watch myself while driving and make sure none of the driving from here has rubbed off on me. If I cut you off and drive through a red, my advanced apologies.