Karachi, the biggest city of Pakistan, is home to almost 23.5 million people, all belonging to varied religious, social and cultural backgrounds.It is also home to all sorts of vehicular traffic. From donkey carts to Jaguars, from Harley Davidsons to auto rickshaws to glorified buses mimicking an overzealous Pakistani wedding arrangement, you name it and we have it.
With this varied breed of people and their preferred modes of transport, it gets pretty difficult for a female driver to operate a vehicle on the streets of Karachi. I have not only survived but have now, after 10 years of driving like a truck driver, mastered the art of expertly maneuvering a car in Karachi – which includes countless stares and rolled eyeballs from the opposite gender.
Here are 9 tips to help you tough it out on the streets of Karachi:
- Never admit you’re wrong – like never, ever, ever. Even when a traffic constable stops you, pretend to be dumb with no idea what he’s blabbering about. If you collide with another car or hit a pedestrian, act as if they were the one who made a mistake of hitting your car! Make them apologize – insist on it. Females normally do get their way in Karachi 🙂
- If men stare, you double stare back. They just want to show that driving is not a ladies’ cup of tea! Let’s show them who a better chaiwala(wali) is;-)
- Treat the car horn as your ultimate savior and never stop pressing it for more than ten seconds. No honking means you will never reach your destination on time! As compared to the honking you’d get from your mom/boss/spouse for being late, the car horn will be music to your ears!
- If your car breaks down, or if you have passengers who need to get off, or even if you just need a 5-minute breather from the madness, you can conveniently stop and park your car anywhere at all. After all, you are an honest tax-paying citizen of the country and it was with your money that the government made the roads!
- Meals – ahhh! The joy of having food behind the wheel. You save on time, no cleaning up to do and no one to see how much you’ve stuffed yourself up. Meals behind wheels are THE BEST!
- If a bus gets in the way, honk and swear like your life depends on it. If you get in the bus’s way, ladies first.
- The worst are the rickshaws and motorcyclists! They are what I call the road’s creepy crawlies. They will change lanes like nobody’s business. Never let these guys take up your personal space on the roads.
- The lanes are only for men. Ladies have privileges. Also make sure that the zebra crossing always lies 1 meter behind your car’s rear end. After all, who wants to miss a green light?
- The only rule that you should remember – there are no rules on the streets of Karachi… you make your own!
P.S.: This is a piece of satire and is not intended to be taken seriously. Read and laugh it off. It is also not really meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments, especially the male members of our society. Driving, for me, is one of the greatest pleasures and stress reliever. And driving in Karachi has a charm like no other city in the world!