The Honking System (also: Crappy photos from a bus window)

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The 5-hour bus ride from Cochin to Munnar was one of the most terrifying rides of my life.  The first hour was city driving, but then we hit the mountains and for the next four hours I was just waiting to die.  We were on a narrow two-lane road with skull-and-crossbone signs around every corner warning drivers to go slow. But I was on a bus with the world’s most aggressively maniacal driver who was making it his mission to piss off everyone on the road and scare the shit out of his passengers.  Imagine, if you will, every single bad driving habit that exists (speeding, tailgating, illegally passing, driving in the wrong lane, slamming breaks, cutting people off, belligerent honking, yelling out the window, talking on a cell phone, etc).  Now, most Indians do most of these things most of the time. But, this guy was doing all of them… all the time.  He even yelled out the window at a traffic cop who was scolding him for driving in the oncoming traffic lane, which he did so that he could pass, like, three cars.

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Munnar & South India’s hill stations

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I cannot say enough good things about Munnar.  Well, not Munnar town exactly, but the area around it which is comprised of the Western Ghats mountain range.  This geographically-stunning area is suffused with lakes, rivers, waterfalls, tea plantations, rolling hills, and green, green, green everything.  Everywhere you look is picture-perfect.  It’s beautiful, clean, and chilled out.  It also has Colorado-in-the-springtime weather, with days in the 70s and nights in the low 50s.

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