Mysore again. .

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, May 18, 2006

So it was back to the hotel Guptha in Mysore for some rest. No "doctor" and no market, just a simple dinner and some HBO, perhaps some NatGeo channel, then off to sleep. Of course, it being a simple run up into Bangalore, we dawdled in the morning, drinking coffee, and reading the papers.
I have noticed my pack getting smaller. The Incredible Shrinking Pack may be a phenomenon caused by my getting better at packing things up, but it is nonetheless a real effect. This is great, because Linda's pack seems to keep getting bigger, and to maintain balance on a Royal Enfield, one must keep the weight straight. The smaller packs can be divided and distributed out for this purpose.

Coming out of Mysore we got about 15 km from town, and then the unexpected happened. . Indian Traffic Jam. Sitting in 90 degree heat with car fumes all round is bad enough, but it seemed that no-one was moving, either side. I asked a man in a tourist car if there might be an accident, but he said no, this was "normal traffic. . " Sheesh. .
Finally we started to move. Going through a town there people were crossing the four-lane highway without even looking from side to side. I saw many near-misses, and had a couple myself. then the road turned to two way traffic.
Going slow and carefully through towns is the way I do things. To maintain one's speed and direction is generally the safest course, as when people cross the road, they look, guage speed and direction of the oncoming vehicles, then walk across. There is a Zen to this, as long as one follows the rules, both pedestrian and motorist alike. In the two-way traffic situation, one must go even more carefully and slowly. Every occasionally someone breaks the rules and you have to compensate. This happened on that day.
A woman stepped out from between the oncoming trucks and into my path. She did not even look my way as I honked the horn and frantically braked and swerved to avoid her. Rocinante began to skid, and I took the path to the left of her to avoid her. Had I kept on in my present path, she would have gone over the handlebars. As it was, she was grazed by Linda's bag, which tore loose and fell onto the road. We stopped, and there was a traffic policeman there, who had us wait. Linda went back to get her bag and check on the status of the woman, who was up and walking away toward the side of the road.
Asking with some concern, the people with the woman waved us on, saying that she was alright, and not to worry.
Reloading the bag on Rocinante, the Policeman told us to go on ahead, which left me feeling somewhat torn, I wanted to know personally that the woman was ok, though she must have been deaf, as she ignored the traffic and my signalling to her to watch out, she did not appear to hear the skidding of both tires as I nearly lost control of the bike. She broke the "rules" appearing out of nowhere from behind a truck, not looking, then walking, And I did my level damndest to avoid her, but that was of no matter to me, My heart was weighted down as the policeman insisted that we keep going.

About another ten kilometers there was a policeman in the road, his bamboo stick held out, flagging us down, and a couple of laborers helping him to block the road. I pulled over, of course, and started seeing visions of the famous baksheesh stories in front of my eyes. This is how it happens. This is how it starts. Bidding me in a polite manner to get off of the bike and cross the highway to sit by the small police outpost on the highway, I gave him the xeroxes of my passport and "international license," knowing that now I would soon get a firsthand glimpse of the Indian highway police in action. .
There was much shouting over the radio, and we were made to sit in the shade. The officer, who was the only one manning the outpost brought us food and water and told us in broken english to wait until his officer came up from town. .
Rocinante glistened in the hot sun on the other side of the highway as I went through a fast-beating heart, and then a certain calmness as I gave up control of the situation, and indeed of my destiny. . .
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