This morning the traffic signals outed. What usually ensues in these instances is utter chaos, with cars traveling in four directions gridlocked in a perverse jigsaw. But today a traffic policeman stood in the middle, cajoling and guiding and halting cars with a look and a brief flourish of his hands. Drivers obeyed - except BEST bus drivers, who would edge god off a road if he rode a scooter - and stayed behind the white line. It would have been different had the signals worked. Rickshaw drivers would have hesitantly edged forward, looking left and right before breaking across in a blast of noise and exhaust, and they would be trailed by other drivers who would be emboldened by this, and also the fact that there were no cops around. Then drivers in other lanes would be miffed by this disregard for red, yellow and green, and would set off in similar fashion after a reconnaissance mission to look for hidden traffic policemen. It would be a cheery affair, for all were bound by an understanding that they really shouldn't be doing this, but hey, it's only a signal.
Sometimes, and only sometimes, when this happens, I stay still while the cars beside me rush past the red light, and I grin at the rear view mirror at the driver behind honking furiously, urging me to follow everybody else. The more he honks, the bigger the smile. I love it, I really do, because here, in this country, you can irritate a lot of people by obeying rules. Heh.