I realise I’ve mentioned this pavement thing a lot – but it kept coming up over and over again when I was telling people I was leaving India.
There I’d be waxing lyrical about how all the ace things things I could do, and I’d list them – because I am that interesting – and right there, near the top was: I’d be able to walk daily. On pavements. Without fear of falling in a drain.
‘Do you mean an open sewer when you say drain?’ asked a Canadian chum.
So it was when both of us were looking on google maps at potential areas for me to live in Toronto, that I think it really struck home for me. We were on Skype and both looking at the same location, spinning round and getting a feel for the locale.
Just by the by – ain’t technology grand? The fact you can even have that kind of chat these days is ace.
Anyway, my pal was suggesting a particular neighbourhood as a good bet, close to transport, and if I walked up round this particular corner there were great restaurants and over here, a lovely yoga place… all good things, and all stuff I need to know about the city, and the area I might live.
However, I wasn’t paying that much attention. At my end of the map spinning, I was just turning round and round on the same spot, murmuring – “look, isn’t it clean? No rubbish and no open drains and everything looks spotless. You could have open heart surgery in the middle of that road, it’s that clean.
And look, over there at the traffic intersection – there’s two lanes of traffic marked, and there’s only two lanes of cars. Incredible. And they’re all stopped at the lights, no-one’s sitting in the middle of the intersection at right angles to another car, waiting for some magical traffic movement that will smooth it all out”
Right, enough though, there is always some way it does all work itself out in India, traffic does kind of flow eventually. And it is rather magical that it works at all. But it’d been a while since I’d seen this kind of order. I’ve been in India a long time and I’ve patently acclimatised.
But the best bit of that happy moment considering neighbourhood? There we were downtown of a city and there wasn’t a single cow. Not a one.
An entirely cow free neighbourhood. Fancy that!
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