I call it a taxi because it was a standard Bajaj three-wheeled, open-air scooter with a canopy, but in this case it functioned more like a bus, stopping to pick up rush-hour passengers, dropping off others and juggling fares all the while.
Like the monk-filled taxi I saw on the way into town, other vehicles with literal hangers-on passed us en route to Gaya Junction. The most number I could count on a single jeep was seven passengers — inside, on the bumper and atop the roof.
The monks had those guys beat.
By now, I was used to most anything I might see traveling India’s roads — or maybe it was more about expecting the unexpected.
I didn’t, however, think I’d see a cow — or maybe a water buffalo? — set hoof directly into the path of our little tuk-tuk.
At the highway speeds Westerners are accustomed to, such an incursion would present a potentially fatal road hazard, but at barely-faster-than-a-speeding-bicycle velocity, there was plenty of time to pass the creature by driving into the oncoming lane of traffic. (Indians drive on the right, as does most of Asia.)
Tank-like Tata buses squeezed through streets sized more like alleys, and horse-drawn carts rattled down the streets alongside bicycle taxis — no hand-pulled rickshaws here.