This page is solely dedicated to India; the land of tigers, curry and cows. The map below shows the rough locations of the cities.
A beautiful map of the world with the cities this chapter concerns in a Bassy and Adrian style colour scheme; Perfection!
Also very interesting, to say the least, is India. I've never had the privelege to be there (this might not be a bad thing, given all the stories about the food over there and the "after-effect"),
but of course Marcel has. Once again, a few business trips and pictures are all we need to get some nice content. Once again again, no intro this time. Currently there are two cities: Ahmedabad in the
West, and Delhi, a small trip to the North-East from the former.
This city has over 3,5 milion people and is one of the faster growing cities in the world. Fun fact: it's warm over there if it's not raining and if it's raining you'll get wet if you're outside. Another
fun fact: the city has 96 traffic islands (haha, funny translation from Dutch), but that was a couple of years ago. Traffic itself doesn't seam to differ all that much from the rest of the world; a lot of honking
and forcing your way through everybody and everything. Even though a youtube movie (from the year 2012) says that there are 70 cars on average per 1000 inhabitants in the major Indian cities, where in Europe this number
is a bit higher; 350 to 400 cars per 1000 inhabitants. Nonetheless, there are more of 1000 inhabitants in Indian cities than in most European cities...
The expectation is that the number of cars in Ahmedabad is only going to grow (in my opinion a good, obvious guess), and this is likely to cause more problems both in safety and logistics. I seem to remember that the
city is investing in public tranportation to try to reduce the number of vehicles (shuttle busses that go every few minutes), but I'm not 100% sure any more. We'll have to ask Marcel in a few years.
Roundabout in Ahmedabad, India. Picture taken by Marcel, 11th may 2012.
The first thing you'll notice is that they drive on the wrong side of the road (unless you drive on the wrong side as well). Someone asked a while ago how they make the transition from a right driving country to
a left driving country. For Great Brittain this obviously doen't matter, but for India it is kind of important. I don't know. I quickly looked at the "friendship bridge" on the border with China, but it doesn't look like
there is some sort of thing for that.
Anyhow, the roundabout... There is a "zebra" pedestrian crossing that only goes to the splitter island, but let's say the glass is half full. The central island is also looking nice; it has a hedge which is blocking the
view on the entry on the other side (which is of course a good thing, because you only have to focus on traffic coming from your right and the white man taking pictures). The entrance on the bottom-left side of the picture
has a short-cut, so this flow of traffic is guided away from the roundabout. The road itself looks surprisingly pristine, where I must admit I expected that Belgian roads would be of a marginally better quality (but I
I must say that India is starting to look quite good now that the pictures come rolling in; it's at least better than expected. Especially the photograph below looks very cosy and cuddly with pedestrians and cyclists
(surely didn't see that coming). Both photographs show ample trees and all in all, it doesn't look that bad. The first one is taken from the hotel and the one below that is taken from below, at street level. It looks a bit
like the roundabouts we have over here.
Roundabout in Delhi, India. Picture taken by Marcel from the hotel "Leela palace" on 9th february 2013.
The same roundabout in Delhi, India, street level. Picture taken by Marcel on 9th february 2013.
Purely going on these pictures I must conclude that the pedestrian crossings work differently there than how they work over here. On these photo's and the one from Ahmedabad, the thing I called a zebra crossing runs
straight into the bushes on the splitter island. Appareantly it's not for crossing, but it might be some kind of warning? But why is it on both the entry and exit lane? I'm affraid this will remain a mistery until I can
talk with someone from India, which I actually think I can. On the bottom picture you can see a piece of pavement on the splitter island, probably intended for pedestrians. After asking Marcel a week after writing the previous
sentences, it could be that this is just a result of Indian mentality. The "zebra" could actually be a zebra, but poor communication and/or planning could have resulted in this situation. It could be that the splitter island
was made after the zebra was already painted, and they just left the zebra there. I had the chance to ask a real Indian person, but it turned out that he was from Indonesia; no dice!
Furthermore, these roundabouts don't look that chaotic as expected (but the hotel is located on the outskirts of town).
One of the funniest roundabout pictures I've seen so far and way up in the favorites next to the one from Joep in Marocco. The more bitter is the notion that this thing is maybe not an official roundabout as it's
lacking the familiar arrow-circle sign. It's more like a checkpoint in the middle of a crossing as there is a hospital (an average one, having a rating on google of a meagre 3,5 stars) and a bank nearby. But hell, this is my site.
The hospital is quite interesting, and that's not just because it's in India. It has an empty facebook page with 14 likes. The name is a reference to Thutob Namgyal since STNM Hospital stands for Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial
Hospital. Thutob was the "ruler" of the area under the supervision of the British around 1900. He was the one who made Gangtok the capital of that area.
Roundabout in Gangtok, India, close to the STNM Hospital. Picture taken by Cor, 6th September 2014. Cor, what the hell were you doing all the way out there? (For you people
at home, Gangtok is located all the way up in the North-East near Tibet.)
Note added later: Cor had finished his job satisfactorily and the client took him for a sight-seeing trip around the country.