Don’t know if it’s just Oaxaca or maybe it’s the whole of Mexico. However, my dentist says that drivers in Oaxaca are worse than in Mexico City! But in Xalapa they were ever so polite…big fines meted out if they are not.
But you are taking your life in your hands in Oaxaca. The taxis and buses are the worst…speeding, honoring no lanes…forcing you over. No stop signs, lights, when there are lights and when they are working, are suggestions only. And then there are the “topes” or speed bumps everywhere. Never know when one is coming up unless you watch the cars ahead and hope they slow down…however, one, with drivers from Veracruz, didn’t slow down until they got to the tope. Then they stopped. Bam. Their little car could do it. My big Toyota Land Cruiser couldn’t. So I slammed right into the back of their car. Good thing for insurance. Good thing no one was hurt.
Actually I expected this…but thought I’d get side-swiped by a bus. Now I know why Mexican immigrants in the north get into so much trouble! A couple years ago in my home town in Oregon I was T-boned by an immigrant going through a red light at about 60 miles an hour…she had no insurance. No one has insurance here except the expats.
There are rules here…just not the posted ones. And heaven help you if you don’t obey them! Boils down to buses and taxis and very small cars do what they want…and that includes just about everyone. Except the gringa with the Toyota with a US license plate. Yes, I know I should have put more space between me and car in front. You get conditioned to keep close…cars, buses and taxis will try to edge into even a sliver of space forcing you over. If you leave a lot of room…say a couple car lengths you never get to where you are going because the whole city will move in front of you. Will be glad when I get this car back up to the states!
Thailand is no better. Was rear-ended by a motorcycle there once. Today got an email from Bob who is living in Thailand: “Now if I could only learn to control my minirage reactions at Thai drivers,” he says. “Earlier this week I was driving in a line of autos and a bus tried to pass the whole line of 5-6 cars. He encountered oncoming traffic and cut in front of me–not really in front more like forced me onto the shoulder. I offered selected auditory and visual feedback. (Had to laugh because the same thing happens here in Mexico!) But the curious cultural phenomena is that I was the heavy in that I lost my cool. But driving is very unsafe here–most trips (even to the market) produce an anxiety or at least an edge of apprehension. And the Thais cannot park. It is humerous to watch them attempt a parallel park, most often most of the car is left somewhere out on the street. And I have two significant dings being clipped me while I was parked. Oh well…..” I think I detect a note of Thai-speak in that syntax.