I think that at this point, it is appropriate to share with you my observations on driving in Bali.
- Unlike in Australia, tooting one's horn (also known as "honking") is not something one does to indicate omg-we're-about-to-crash or the-traffic-light-is-green-please-stop-inspecting-the-stain-on-your-shirt-and-move. Instead, it is used much more liberally for one of the following reasons:
(a) To warn oncoming drivers that are in the blind spot around the corner, that you are around the corner.
(b) To indicate that you are about to overtake the vehicle in front of you.
(c) To indicate to other drivers that you intend to turn right. On that note, I am unsure of the reasons for which indicators/blinkers are used.
(d) Generally, to communicate to persons in your proximity that you are driving a car and that your vehicle is large and imposing and that all pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles should immediately remove themselves from the vicinity.
- Roads are usually extremely narrow, which apparently means that lane markings are guidelines only. You will find that you spend approximately thirty per cent of your time on the wrong side of the road and approximately fifty per cent of your time straddling both the correct lane and the lane for oncoming traffic.
- When overtaking other vehicles, you really only need to watch for other cars. The assumption that all other forms of traffic (bikes, motorcycles) will drive around you. It is likely that overtaking will require facing some oncoming traffic (see point 2). And don't forget to honk (see point 1(b)).
For the pedestrians, I have some advice on crossing the road. Just watch out for the cars - the rest will ride around you.