Three cows enter a crosswalk on a busy street in Bangalore India as two people try to cross the other way

Why did the cow cross the road?

To get to the Burger King on the other side? I was fixated on this picture of cows walking down the major boulevard to cross the street that I didn’t notice the Burger King and McDonald’s signs looming ironically on the other side in the background. I’m guessing they sell a lot of chicken sandwiches here in Bangalore, India.

The scene here is apparently something you see every day in India. Two people crossing a very busy boulevard with seemingly no traffic lights only to be abruptly turned around by three cows who have been wandering down the busy street and have decided they’re crossing the other way. It’s a level of traffic and pedestrian chaos that somehow just fits in and is normal in everyday life. No worries, no road rage, just incredible amounts of people and cars moving quickly in patterns occasionally blocked by groups of cows who definitely seem to have the right of way and nobody is arguing with them.

Honestly there is something truly magical about that to the outsider. Sure, you have the occasional goose crossing on a major road in New York and everyone laughs because it’s a spectacle, but this is something totally different and definitely a sight to see. Even with the goose crossing there’s a sense that you’re in a rush, you’ve got really important stuff to do, but actually…no you don’t. You’re going to sit in your car and watch geese cross a street in a row, so calm yourself, slow down, and breathe. Maybe share a laugh with the person in the car next to you equally stunned that this is happening.

That all said, I’m sure it’s not all roses and beauty. There are 5 million stray cattle in India. With those kinds of numbers, I’m sure there are issues with disease and unfortunate encounters with injured or aggressive bulls.

This picture was taken during my first trip to India and I’m fairly confident that my 30+ years of New York City driving means absolutely nothing in these streets. I doubt I could successfully drive there. It’s truly an amazing sight to be seen.

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