We might have done the most risky thing so far, we rode in a car in rush hour. I have never been in a moving car near so many cars. Everyone tries to get to work by 9, so they all leave at the same time. Almaty doesn’t really have many highways to connect from place to place, so we were driven on many city streets en route to the conference this morning. Imagine a road, four lanes wide and two going in each direction…but the people going into the city occasionally and seemingly randomly weave into in the oncoming lane when there doesn’t seem to be traffic in it, and then cut back into their appropriate lane at will.
We were behind schedule and a police car went by in the “borrowed” lane – one black car was immediately behind it. What did our driver do? Jumped in behind the caravan, driove through several lights, and made some good time for several blocks. Then, for whatever reason, our driver then decided to pull back into the “normal” lane of traffic at which point a city bus pulled out of the normal, jam-packed lane, and followed the police and black car.
It is not be possible to write an account which truly captures the richness (and our perceived danger) of this ride.