Sunday, January 16

my ten road rules

Driving in Bali is not something I would recommend to everyone; traffic is horrific, the chaos is head splitting and the chance of a dingle is high. However, if you are brave enough to get behind the wheel, I offer you my ten commandments for surviving the experience.

1. 100% concentration, 100% of the time.  You can not take your eyes off the chaos for a second and definately should not be texting, reading or eating while driving.

2.  Be aggressive. There is no place for courteous drivers here, alas you will be letting people in front of you all day.

3.  Tailgate. Any space between you and the car in front will be filled by motorbikes or other vehicles like a vacuum. Stay close, honk, and watch for brake lights.

4. Embrace the horn.  It drives motorbikes into submission, lets people know you're coming through and is the panacea for their habit of never looking behind.

5. Expect the worst.  Cars will approach on the wrong side of the road on a corner, they will overtake on the left, pull out in front without looking and refuse to indicate. 

6. Be patient.  It will always taken twice as long as you expect.

7. Rent an automatic. You will never get out of third gear and the clutch compressions will build up your left leg disproportionately.

8. Know where you are going.  Signage is appalling, one-way streets and narrow lanes are at every turn, and traffic will jam you in like a salmon swimming upstream. You can not change lanes at the last minute, turn around or pull over. Do not look at the map while driving (see rule #1).

9.  Close the windows & crank up the air-con.  Lest you want to spend the rest of your like in Antarctica trying to detox your lungs.  For this reason I dislike riding motorbikes. 

10.  Smile.  It isn't permanent.
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