A special traffic language in Bali

I just have to write a separate post about this. Although in Indonesia and Bali there are thousands of different dialects and languages the one we are hearing the most is the special “honking” traffic language. It’s really different from back home. Similar things have also been present in other SE locations but here it’s at a totally new level. Since the traffic in Bali is an organized chaos some method of communication is needed. I already understand some of it but I think it really takes time to master :). If in Estonia you hear a car horn only when someone is stuck to their cell-phone screen for too long and the green light has been on for already some time or when someone is just pissed at the other driver, then here it’s a different story. It’s a constant melody of different horns. Here are some examples why people are using a horn and some that are just my guesses 🙂

  • If you near a poor visibility junction or a curb in the road the horn is used to let other drives know that you’re coming
  • If you plan to pass someone who is standing at the roadside the horn is used to warn them so they wouldn’t open a door or wander to the road
  • When driving on a highway usually most of the cars who are passing on the faster lane sound their horns
  • When you’re walking near the road all the available taxis sound a horn at you so you could notice them and maybe even jump aboard 🙂
  • Majority of huge trucks and buses sound their horns so you could just get out of their way! And believe me when I say that horns installed on these things are just deafening!
  • When you see a familiar face in the traffic you’ll sound a horn so they could notice you 🙂
  • And yes, also in here when someone is pissed at someone sounding a horn is not spared!

All that above is just a glimpse of what I think horns are used in here. But sometimes it seems that they are using it just randomly or maybe they want to ask from a friend “How was the movie yesterday?” or “Shall we go for a lunch tomorrow?” :). Either way it’s quite an experience and during some time you’ll just start to ignore the unimportant honking and focus on the important ones. That is if you get it right of course 🙂

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