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If you had shown the article title alone 'Why You Should Get Car Insurance' to an American it would be a no brainer for him to tell it's a foreign one. In the USA auto insurance is mandatory for so long that there's no debate about the issue.
However, reading this reminded me of a unique experience I had in Ahmdabad, Gujarat during my 1 year backpacking through northern India:
It was mid day and I took a ride on an auto-rickshaw taxi. The traffic was tight and crawling. We (The driver and me) were traveling the main street and as we approached a junction another similar taxi "put his foot in the doorway" in the Indian motorway culture (to push the nose of his vehicle into a space between two other vehicles and make a statement of 'give way'). However at this incident both drivers flopped on reading each other's mind and actions and it ended in a ding to my Rickshaw.
In the best of western ways, I imagined a huge delay. Now, I thought, the drivers will stop on the margins, exchange insurance details or at the least will quarrel who's fault it is and in the worst, as in many Mediterranean countries it will escalate into loud argument, maybe scolding.
To my amazement, nothing of the above followed. Leave that alone, the drivers still stalled in traffic haven't even stopped or got out of their vehicles. But I was looking for signs of anger or agitation on my driver’s behavior: whispering a curse, driving short tempered etc... but I was again proved clueless of Indian mindset even in loss due to an uncommon accident.
My diver, still seated, leaned forward, reached his hand out and ran it over the dimple then raised back into driving position and went on waiting in line with the offensive other driver preceding him in line.
My Hindi was so-so and Gujarati non existent. I could only guess that both had no insurance or, in the Indian bureaucratic ways, sweating over petty compensation wouldn’t stream along with the real-time multitasking of survival. I could also see how in another day, on another road my driver might be the offender and then it all evens out eventually.
* This post was originaly written as my talk-back / comment for the article 'Why You Should Get Car Insurance' on motorbeam.com
In the story 'Why You Should Get Car Insurance'.
Also by Etan Doronne
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