some of my thoughts and notes


India is rapidly changing my understanding of the meaning of honking.

In Germany, approximately 80% of the time when people use their car horns, they do it to express frustration about either being stuck or being wronged by someone. Rarely do people use the horns for their intended purpose: to express the presence of danger to themselves or others and therefore as a warning signal.

This behavior has led me to hate car horns. Whenever I hear many car horns, I take it as a sign that people are very frustrated.

In India, horns are used very differently. 80% of the time people use it just to express their presence. And because that's a lot of the time, they also honk a lot of the time. So it's a lot of honking to take in.

Fascinatingly, it is still possible to tell which signal is meant for you and which isn't. Today, as I was walking on the side of a road, I heard a very calm, polite, horn, and somehow immediately knew I had to stop. And just a second later a bus crossed my path at more than 50 km/h – had I not stopped, I'm sure the bus could not have either.