Driving (and Living) Lessons

December 10, 2010 by  
Filed under blog

It’s amazing how much one can get out of visiting other countries. Not only are there the constant novel experiences but there is also so much to learn from their habits and cultures. I have now been to 74 countries and even lived in Turkey from 1959 to 1961 where I attend high school. But even so, every country is a surprise, a wonder, and a new lesson, opening my eyes to so many new and varied visions of life and living.

One thing that stood out while walking and being driven in the heavy, crazy traffic of Kathmandu was how the culture and habits of the people there differed so very much from our own. We saw so many near misses between cars and pedestrians, watched our drivers and others being regularly cut off by wildly driven vehicles, and heard so many, many horns. I mean Kimberly, I, and my two daughters, Nichol and Cammy, came within an inch or two of being hit by motorcycles as well as cars. It was quite scary at first but amazingly you get used to it. It’s just how it is there. Back home in Utah, if any of those things happened you most likely would get an angry look or get flipped off while in some other cities in the U.S. you even might get shot.

However, in India and Nepal, people never seem to get upset or mad at the honking, getting cut off, or nearly being hit. It would seem that living in very crowded conditions combined with the both the Hindu and Buddhist attitudes results in a very calm, non-defensive, understanding. It would be nice if we could realize, in our country, that things get crazy sometimes, but it’s just not worth the energy and unhappiness of being upset.

There is so much for us to learn from other countries and peoples. It’s a shame that everyone in the world can’t visit dozens of other countries and see how much we, as humans, are very much the same and that we can learn from our differences.