Friday, April 23, 2010

Why autorickshaws are so annoying

I was going to bed then I thought: Oh my god, I forgot my little blog and he must be so lonely in some server in the world :(. So now I'm back, I've been too busy in these days trying to finish my thesis so that is why... Ok, after the excuses I will talk about Autorickshaws.

Autorickshaws are small cars with three wheels. One in the front and two in the rear. We call them in Colombia "Mototaxis" and they are so cool. In Colombia you only find them in a small little town in the coast called Tolú.(Well, that's what I think, I have not been to many places in my own country, sad, I know). Ok, so when I first came to India and I saw an Autorickshaw I just wanted to ride it... then after few days it becomes boring and this is when the problems start.

The next graphic shows the level of satisfaction of riding a rickshaw since I'm in India:

where 100 means I would prefer to have an autorickshaw than a Ferrari, and 0 means if I had a gun in the moment I'm riding the auto I would kill the driver and then kill myself.

So why the 'autos' are so cool at the beginning and they turn so annoying a few weeks later:
  • When you are riding one you feel like if you were in a bumper car (carritos chocones) then you get used to and it's not fun anymore.
  • Every day the heat is more, so the first days were 26ºC, now inside an auto must be something like 40ºC because they have a black plastic cover.
  • The first days you are so excited then you don't hear any noise. A few days later you realise how the exhaust pipe sounds and the horn doesn't stop sounding.
  • They stop to the petrol station with you inside to fill the tank... yes sr. Dude, It's bloody hot and I don't want to wait!.

And the most important one:
  • Dealing and bargaining with the drivers is the most annoying thing in the world:
after a few days you learn how to do it, I will tell you in my next post...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

5 casual photos describing last week

I was thinking what I was going to post this week. Then I thought my life in India is a kind of routine again. I've been very busy in these days to write a good real post so I just wanted to describe last week with 5 casual photos:

1. Football is Football so you always have to take some time to watch amazing games. This week I saw five big games: Inter - CSKA Moscow, Barcelona - Arsenal, Manchester - Bayern Munich, Liverpool - Benfica and Real Madrid - Barcelona.

2. Going to work by Autorickshaw. Every Autorickshaw is a new adventure so probably next month I will write a whole post about Autorickshaws.

3. Doing my Thesis: Search Algorithms Based in Ontologies. Here I gather maths, logic, computer science and researching.

4. Meeting new friends. It's nice how you can get to know people from all continents in only one day. Here is the team: Ghana, Jordan, Argentina, Russia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Colombia and India. Note:The girl who was taking the picture is Russian and I need one of my Australian friends to come and feel the globe.

5. Enjoying a magnificent and stunning indian sunset from the beach.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How to cross a street in India

Traveling around the world I have found many ways to cross a street, as simple as crossing in Australia where all cars stop only because you are crossing, as easy as Colombia where if you don't see a car just cross or sometimes drivers give you the way. But in India it's different.

To cross a street in India you will first have to be aware of the elements of the environment. They can be autorickshaws, shared autorickshaws (bigger rickshaws), trucks, cows, bikes, people and buses. Everything at the same time. Now, conscious of the environment there are two ways to cross the street: unsafe - safe mode.

Unsafe mode
How my mother taught me: "you look to the left and see if cars are coming". This is totally incorrect, first "you look to the left": India was a British colony so traffic, switches, volume-channel buttons in the remotes, locks are in the opposite direction. How annoying is it to try turning up the volume and instead get another channel, but it would be more annoying trying to cross the street because the car might end up changing your life-channel. Second "if cars are not coming": cars and bikes are always coming.

But anyway, like a good boy I followed this instruction with its corrections from the Indian environment:
look to the right - good! some spot there, let's cross. Result: you dumb-ass forgot about the left, vehicles coming in the wrong direction sometimes are coming as well.
look to the right - left - right - good! some spot there, let's cross. Result: you dumb-ass could step onto a shit or an animal
look at the floor - right - left - right - damn! more cars are coming :(

Now suppose you are a horse! so you have left-right vision and don't care what you step on. Still be aware of the front, you can crash into another person who is crossing from the opposite side. Awesome! You'll probably find how to cross only one lane, then you have to stay in the middle of the two "lanes" waiting to do the same procedure. Don't worry, all motorbikes will be horning you and nearly touching you, but you are kind of safe; Finally you have crossed the street.

Safe mode
Follow an Indian and stand beside him, he knows the business and if someone gets hurt it's gonna be him :)
There's still the wrong direction drivers risk, so cross between two Indians. The risk of the floor is still there but it would be so colonial and inhumane to cross over an Indian.

Safest mode cross into a crowd of Indians, believe me, I'm here writing this post to tell the story.