A walk home with a cop

October 2, 2008

Alright! don’t infer that I was caught by a cop and I had to walk home with him to show him my passport and stuff 😛

For those who haven’t been in touch with me, I am in Tucson, Arizona doing my Masters in Computer Science at the University of Arizona.

It was a cool evening after classes – just the kind of evening you would like to walk home with a friend, discussing all sorts of crap (uleadin is perfect!).

Its about 2km from my department to home, so thats about a 20 minute walk. A few minutes into the walk, I met a cop who was going to a place near my house. We said “Hi” to each other and walked together the rest of the journey. He was pretty interested in talking to me because I am an Indian, someone new to talk to…..

Cop: So Arun. What do you study here?
Me: I do Computer Science.
Cop: Indian, right? I shouldn’t have asked 😛
Me: 😀
Cop: So how do you like Tucson?
Me: Its nice.. pretty laid back place. Its calm, and the best part is that here people drive sensibly and they stop for pedestrians crossing the road.
Cop: Well.. thats true, but Arun, let me tell you that most drivers are like that. They follow rules. There is always the driver who doesn’t want to. Its there everywhere in the world!
Me: I agree
Cop: So you got to look left and right before you cross
Me: Hmmm.. I thought roads here were so safe that I could cross without looking.
Cop: Ah! well… you come from India.
Me: Yeah! every Indian feels the same at first, is it? (I meant to say that after coming from a place like India, seeing such organized traffic, Indians cross roads without looking on either side)
Cop: Yep! Ours is not a country of Engineers like India.
Me: (WTF!!??)
Cop: Well.. in India, most of you are Engineers and you are pretty much educated and sensible. A larger fraction than the US. So, its pretty much natural that average Indian drives better than the average American.
Me: (haven’t you ever been to India?)
Cop: So, you got to understand roads in this country are not as safe as India. And if you drive, watch out for lane cutting. Be informed that if someone cuts a lane in front of you rashly, you have the right to complain.
Me: (Well.. I thought lane cutting was perfectly normal.. at least in India :D)
Cop: Also, people sometimes park a car by the side of the road.
Me: (Park ONE car by the side of the road!??)
Cop: So.. as you see, things are pretty dangerous here!