Previously I was beamed to the mother ship and thought I’d never see humans again till a near accident (of someone else) showed me that I wasn’t so far from home after all.

I was picked up from the infamous Fraport by a colleague of my dad’s – N.  In a B.M.W! I couldn’t believe my eyes and I couldn’t wait to gloat to my friends and family. This was back in the time before I had a Facebook account or a blog, but thankfully I had a camera phone. Now, BMWs are pretty commonplace in Germany but in India, it’s usually only really successful CEOs and Bollywood actors who drove them. Our idea of common cars were this – sure they weren’t the best looking ones but it survived for decades on our roads and that was all you needed in a car.

Maruti 800

Back then, probably our most affordable and reliable car. Source


I know, I know. It looks like the kind of vehicle you use to kidnap someone. But I came to love its bucket seats! Source

Imagine my surprise when the car had amazingly comfortable seats and functioning seatbelts. Not only that, the car windows didn’t roll down, they had some automatic buttons that I had to struggle not to play with because of course I was a mature teenager. Right? Of course. What shocked me the most was not the music player that could play CDs (we still used cassettes for everything!) but that there was some sort of screen in the middle of the dashboard that actually SPOKE.


A car that spoke, showed routes and even gave traffic updates and expected time of arrival. While I was busy looking out the windows, wondering at this nation that was obviously run by robots, I noticed lanes with speed limits. And the top speed? See, I know Schumacher was at the best of his game back then but an entire nation of racers? BUT, there were no accidents, everyone kept to their lanes and when people slowed down for a traffic light, they kept a meter distance between each car.

What was this country?

Rest of the Country
This is how our disciplined lanes and speed limits look like
One of our more bizarre warning signs/milestones

One of our more bizarre warning signs/milestones