Metro NZ

NORTH OF THE BORDER

The flatbed just clipped us. A peck on the nose. Not enough to spin us or flip us, but enough to send our tuk-tuk driver into a fury. He pulled up to the truck at the next traffic lights, slapped the driver’s door, and started screaming in Urdu. The driver just smirked.

Of course the driving in South Asia is everything you expect — frenzied — except maybe a little worse. Vehicles straddle multiple lanes for no obvious reason. Stop signs and red lights generally serve only a decorative function, and many drivers treat their horns as crude echo-location systems. Once, our car was pulled over and our driver fined for doing 89km/h in a 50km/h zone. Our man laughed, back-slapped the policeman, paid the fine in cash, and accelerated away at a speed I’d guess was almost exactly 89km/h.

On this occasion though, the tuk-tuk driver was seriously pissed off. He cursed and spat, and as we waited at the lights, he squeezed the nose of our tuk-tuk back in front of the flatbed so the truck couldn’t move forward. The light went green, the traffic on both sides accelerated out, and the flatbed was boxed in

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