Sunday, March 05, 2006

Nagpur nutters

Motorbikes make up the majority of traffic in Nagpur, the city of Oranges. But it's the warning signs on the main highway that has caught the attention of our man in India.

Depending which route you take, it is a 15 minute auto-rickshaw ride to the VCA ground from my hotel.

From England's team lodging's a long, straight road takes you virtually to the dressing room door, via two fly-overs for the team bus, or, if on a rickshaw, the local's route.

I've managed the flyover twice this week but only because the driver's engine has coped.

A splutter, followed by virtual standstill in a precarious position in the road has usually been the form on ascent - while a cacophony of horns can be heard from behind. Most driver's have since taken me street level, below the highway, to what they describe as 'real India, India'.

Che Guevara would be proud of Nagpur too. A motley crue selection of classic, old school motorbikes make up the majority of traffic on this busy stretch, with careless and carefree manoeuvres like many of their Honda 'Freedom' bikes suggest.

Nobok's Top 5 Road Safety signs, as seen on the Nagpur highway:

1. Control your nerves on curves

2. Death rides a speedy driver

3. Patience is heavenly, haste is deadly

4. Better late in this world, than first in that world

5. Danger creeps where safety sleeps