My dad refers to drivers coming from the opposite direction as his opponents. I always found it funny, but nowadays that word explains perfectly how I feel not only about the drivers from the opposite direction, but just about anyone else in traffic in Nepal. Driving here is like a large-scale video game and you are trying to beat everyone else, while keeping yourself alive. Most of the time I am seconds away from rolling down my window and yelling at my opponents. I usually keep it together and instead talk to myself in the car trying to figure out what in the world they are doing out there. I’m afraid I am slowly becoming passive-agressive.
If I was brave enough to actually roll down my window, and if I spoke enough Nepali to communicate, this is what I would be saying to my traffic opponents:
1. Why? Please tell me, why?
2. Easy there, tiger. What’s the rush? I am sure you don’t actually need to be anywhere.
3. Why are you honking? Can you see a huge line of cars in front of me? Yup, that’s traffic jam, and your honking will not make it move. If you wanna go in the front, buy yourself a helicopter.
4. You do realize you just made things a million times worse by cutting in front of me on your tractor, don’t you?
5. If I stop for you at the zebra crossing, dear pedestrian opponent, I better see some hustle there. You’re not in a park, so pick up your pace. The guy in the bus behind me is about to run me over.
6. No, there is not enough room for your motorcycle to squeeze through, so just stay in line, like all normal people do.
7. That white line in the middle of the road divides two lanes. You are supposed to choose a lane, not drive in the middle. The line is not your guide, and the road is not a runway.
8. Overtaking me on your motorbike, coming right in front of me and then slowing down to turtle speed is plain dangerous. Please understand it.
9. Would you please stop pushing me off the road?
10. Oh, you’re making a turn right there? OK. If only there was a way for you to show me your intention beforehand…oh wait…