Drive Around The World (Australia)

One family, one car, one year, one planet

Archive for January, 2009

Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Varanasi, India, 28-31 December, 2008, Day 263-266

Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Varanasi, India

28-31 December, 2008

Day 263-266

Soundtrack:

‘It’s the Life’ – Grant Lee Buffalo

‘Teenage Mother’ – British India

‘Waiting for a Train’ – Jerry Lee Lewis

‘Slow Train’ – Blue Ruin

‘Mystery Train’ – Junior Parker, Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Paul Butterfield, et al

‘The Morning Fog’ – Kate Bush

‘Body and Soul’ – Coleman Hawkins

‘Hayride to Hell’ – Hoodoo Gurus

‘Six Days On The Road’ – Taj Mahal

‘Rat’s Revenge’ – The Rats

‘Rat In Mi Kitchen – UB40

‘It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry’ – Bob Dylan

SK: Sunday morning, 7.00am. We were ready for our jaunt around the countryside, excited to be off to see Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi. We had ended up having booked a driver and car to Jaipur, and then to Agra as the trains were all full for these legs. Jassi, our driver, was a serious young man, responsible, and good behind the wheel. He was from the mountains in the north – it must have been a shock for him when he first moved down to the city. He picked us up in a clean little Tata for the first leg to Jaipur on that foggy, foggy morning …

An hour out from Delhi we passed four crashes within two hundred metres of each other. Despite the carnage, trucks, buses, tractors and cars fought to cover ground as fast as they could even though visibility was down to ten metres. The vehicle debris strewn on the road obviously wasn’t enough of an incentive to slow down. As the sun fought the fog to our left, we crawled down the road, our driver fortunately not feeling the pressure to speed with the other traffic. The two lane highway had become four lanes, as the traffic impatiently spilt into the emergency lane, and then created another lane somewhere to the left of that. Or to the right. It was hard to tell. Slowly the four lanes merged back to two as we picked up speed past the last crash, the remains of which were quickly swallowed by the whiteness around us. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cars That Ate India, December 2008/January 2009

The Cars That Ate India

December 2008/January 2009

Soundtrack:

‘My Car Doesn’t Brake’ – The Spazzys

‘Accident Waiting to Happen’ – Billy Bragg

‘Always Crashing In The Same Car’ – David Bowie

‘Flash and Crash’ – Rocky and the Riddlers

‘Beep Beep’ – The Playmates

‘Big Accident’ – Do Re Mi

‘Brand New Car’ – Rolling Stones

‘Cars’ – Gary Numan

‘Dead Man’s Curve’ – Jan and Dean

‘Who Would Love This Car But Me?’ – Brian Setzer

Indian vehicular road traffic is impossible to ignore or dismiss, and is somewhat cause for substantial anxiety for the uninitiated – or the ‘deer in the headlights’.

Our experiences on this trip of drivers using horns unnecessarily have previously been noted. Yet, again, it is in India that things are taken to an extreme. Toot when you stop, beep when you’re going, honk because everyone else is. Don’t slow down and look around a corner to see if there is another car/scooter/cart/goat/child in the way; put your foot to the floor and your hand in the centre of the steering wheel. It is loud, cacophonous, interminable and, overall, totally superfluous, as, because everyone else is doing it, honking has no effect whatsoever. Motor-scooters have had louder car horns fitted, trucks now blast ear-piercing musical air-horns of an endless variety. The incessant din commences before dawn and only slightly diminishes very late into the night. This bizarre phenomenon has had an unfortunate response from drivers, as now nobody adheres to any perceived or pretend road rules or gets out of the way unless they get honked. This means that vehicles might be coming towards you on the wrong side of the road, or gliding through a red light, and they will not deviate from their course unless they are tooted at. And even then, it’s a two-way bet – either they will or they won’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Delhi, India, Day 255-268

Delhi, India

20 – 28, December, 2008

Day 255-268

Soundtrack:

‘Namaste’ – Beastie Boys

‘Om’ – Trilok Gurto

‘Poor Boy’ – Split Enz

‘Territorial Pissings’ – Nirvana

‘Beggar on the Street of Love’ – Paul Kelly and the Messengers

‘The India Song’ – Big Star

‘Within You Without You’ – The Beatles

‘Deep Shit’ – Kruder & Dorfmeister

‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’ – The Temptations

‘Krishna Blue’ – David Sylvian

‘Dear Sweet Filthy World’ – Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet

‘Don’t Shit Where You Eat, My Friend’ – Ween

 

“Asola Wildlife Sanctuary (Map G10): A beautiful road moving south of the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road next to Ghiyasuddin’s Tomb leads to Asola Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary covers an area of 26 sq. km. Though not much wildlife exists here, it is full of all kinds of birds and smaller animals. Next to the sanctuary is Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.” – International’s Destination Guide, 2007

India, as it is for many, is a shock to the senses from the get-go. A metaphoric smack to the head, asking “What did you expect?” Idiosyncratic, beautiful, frustrating, astounding, baffling. While we think we’ve experienced some rather organic travel in developing nations so far, India is a whole different kettle of fish masala. Read the rest of this entry »

Istanbul, Turkey – Delhi, India, Day 243-255, 7-19 December, 2008

Istanbul, Turkey – Delhi, India

7-19 December, 2008

Day 243-255

 

Soundtrack:

‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople)’ – Edmundo Ros, The Residents, They Might Be Giants, Jimmy Kennedy/Simon Nat

‘Ringing My Phone (Straight Outta Istanbul) – Jason Moran (the American one)

‘Telephone Call From Istanbul’ – Tom Waits

‘Istanbul’ – Paris Combo

‘57 Channels and Nothing On’ – Bruce Springsteen

‘I Bought a Headache’ – The Replacements

‘Dr Martin’s Boots’ – Alexi Sayle

‘Meeting of the Waters’ – Mike Nock Project

‘Under the Bridge’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

DB: Our apartment in Istanbul was newly renovated, bright and cheerful. Our host Ali, and his family, made us feel most welcome and was very helpful. But above all we relished the opportunity to live in one space for a while where we could be self-sufficient. Fresh grilled fish and salad in different restaurants is nice and all, but what the children really pined for was some soul food.

Even though we arrived at the apartment after dark, Ali and his daughter were there to meet us and show us around the neighbourhood. After pointing out the local fish and vegetable market and a supermarket, we were able to stock up on the makings of a pasta dinner (pasta!) and breakfast requisites. We took great delight in undertaking usually mundane domestic chores – chopping onions, setting the table, doing the dishes, putting a load of washing on. Indeed, there was a veritable buzz in the air in that little apartment, and a spring in our step. Read the rest of this entry »