1. Kim,
    Indian crew .. heh .. I feel ya. Here in southern Lake County IL (near Lincolnshire / Vernon Hills) … over the course of the last five years or so … those of anglo-european descent have moved out and sold to the Indians. The dot kind, not feather. As a group they are among the WORST drivers around. The Russians are bad, simply because they just don’t give a flying fuck about anyone besides themselves, but the dot-headed Women, as a group, are even worse. Recently I witnessed a woman Chowpati driving about 30mph in a 45 zone, with at least a few hundred yards of clear road ahead of her, come to a dead stop for no obvious reason, without any kind of warning. Had I been distracted by something, anything, it would have been WHAMMO .. but being the diligent sort that I am, problem avoided.
    So yes, Kim, I can related to your “Indian crew” notation, and my experiences circumstantially support your point.
    – Brad

    1. I consider my time in Riyadh with the “drivers” there as desensitization for my time in India. Those fools drive like their peckers are on fire and the last extinguisher in the Kingdom is juuuust on the other side of YOU. Sub Saharan drivers were about the same – zero regard for the fact that anyone else was on the road, and ‘lane discipline’ which caused questions about the cost effectiveness of painting lane markers. Once went up and overpass exit, came around a blind curve, and almost slammed into 2 Kenyans backing their car up the other side of the ramp because they didnt mean to exit, they were going to go back hundreds of meters this way and were befuddled at my anger.
      Something about people who learn to drive south if the equator perhaps, Kim?😄

    2. Please remember that in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka) they drive on the left if, and when, the rules of the road are followed.

      1. Mostly the rules are more suggestions than real Rules since they long ago gave up on trying to enforce them.

        They also follow the more over riding concepth of “enshalla” as in ‘ if Allah is willing there will be no cars coming the other way.” Allah is frequently not willing.

    3. I have heard the phrases: DNF Indians, Dots not feathers indians. Or FND Indians, feathers not dots Indians. Also DD Indians for Double Down since there are quite a few casinos owned by the indigenous peoples

  2. As i remember the “rules of the road” from our trip to India, very large things ( hopelessly over loaded trucks , and tourist buses) uses the center “Lane”. because that was the most likely to be mostly paved. smaller vehicle, donkey carts, Camels and Elephants off to the sides. Tuk-Tuks are allowed to drive anywhere as long as they are at full throttle . Direction is irrelevant.

    As far as the Container Ship Goes, most of the Indian crew has as much to do with steering the ship as you and I do the last time we flew anywhere. Their jobs at sea are mostly to check the containers to verify the refrigeration units are still functioning and all the strapping is secure. The Canal Piot is supposed to be guiding the ship with the assistance of the Bridge officers – who are frequently Scandinavian or Baltic but not Typically Indian for a ship that size. The Captain has the ultimate say but the Canal Pilot is guiding the Boat.

    …… but since the Canal Pilot is likely Egyptian, it won’t be his fault …. so lets blame the crew who were no where near the bridge.

    That said. steering that container ship is like driving a motorhome in a strong crosswind. Not fun . I surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

    1. I believe you are spot-on, GT3Ted.
      While my experience with Indians is minimal, I can see where the knee-jerk reaction would be to say “Aha!”.
      However, whether incompetence or just bad luck, I believe the responsibility here lies with the Egyptian pilots.
      In MY experience of being raised around and later working with Middle-Easterners (Egyptians, Lebanese, Iranians) for the better part of the last 30 years, they tend to be the first to claim “expert knowledge” and the very LAST to claim responsibility (ie: “WHAT problem?! I don’t know what you are speaking about!”) when something goes afoul.
      My guess is that we never find out what actually happened and the Indians WILL catch all the blame.

  3. Somehow I remember the word “Lascar” reading (well, learning how to) all those musty-smelling novels , falling to pieces – – oh say ’bout 40± years – – are these the same “brown-skinned, piratical with a large curved knife swinging at their waist (even at that age I wondered why it didn’t cut off the important bits if it “swang in a terrifying manner”) that swarmed over the ship, handling the lines and climbing the masts?

  4. Indian Crew on a Taiwanese ship registered in Panama for tax reasons, and a muhammedan arab pilot.
    Poor training all around, no doubt language barriers all around.
    Combine with excessively strong winds coming from just the right condition to require extreme crab for the ship to not veer off course and bingo, you’re stuck.

    In 20/20 hindsight, the ship should have waited for the wind to die down before attempting the canal, or better yet taken a different route altogether.
    And I’ve got a nagging suspicion the Egyptians are going to put restrictions on extra large ships similar to those in place on the Panama canal.

  5. “There is a clear danger that the crew will be made scapegoats.”

    God forbid that anyone might actually be held accountable for THEIR OWN ACTIONS.

  6. I can confirm the bit about drivers from the sub-continent of India, though I have not trod there (57 other countries/driven on 4 continents both US and Brit road rules).

    A family of said persuasion just moved into our sub-div. 2 blocks, straight road to cul de sac. Their house of course is on the cul-de-sac end.

    The lady of the house insists on driving into said road off the main thoroughfare on the left lane, producing a dodge-em pattern when coming nose to nose with us Yanks exiting correctly in said lane. She also cuts corners at better than 45 degrees and uses a lane and a half in progressing down the road every time.

    I shudder when it comes time for her brood to take up driving.

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