What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Living in Mexico Part 5

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     Today’s blog will probably be pure bitching, so if ya ain’t in the mood for it, you might wanna close this window.

     Driving in Cancun SUCKS. It is dangerous and stressful, especially if you have someone in the car who means more to you than anyone else in the entire world (your baby). I should drive around one day and have someone film with a video camera (Any takers?) just to show you how many crazy things happen between my house and daycare (a FIVE MINUTE DRIVE) on a weekday morning. On a typical morning I will see many people that don’t use their turn signal at all, or who turn it on 3 streets before they are going to turn. I will also see people stop in the middle of a one-way one lane street to talk to someone on the side of the road as the traffic piles-up behind them. I will see someone pull into fast moving traffic just because they didn’t want to wait any longer. I love it when someone goes all the way into the far left lane so that they can be the first person in line at the light, only to then try to move all the way over to the right lane when the light turns green because they have to turn right at the next street. THINK AHEAD PEOPLE. Oh, I could go on and on and on. I will spare you.

     I ask myself, are these people just stupid? Of course, I am just angry and don’t really believe this (mostly). To be fair, the system isn’t exactly set-up for success.

1) People are not required to take driver’s education classes.

2) If ya fail any part of the test they give you at the Mexican equivalent of the DMV all you have to do is give the tester a few pesos and he’ll pass ya. I know because my husband failed the parallel parking portion of the test.

3) For the most part, there aren’t any lines painted on the streets. This infuriates me, seriously. All it does is encourage the free-for-all that is driving here.

4) The streets are full of HUUUUUGE potholes.

5) The street system is totally jacked-up, full of traffic circles (or roundabouts as my English amiga calls them), places where four lanes merge into two (yet there aren’t any lines to tell you that), one way boulevards (I think I made that name up) where you have to travel 2 kilometers in the wrong direction in order to get to a place where you can turn around so that you will be going in the right direction. The downtown street system was not built with a population of 750,000 in mind. I guess it was fine when I moved here, but because this is a large-ish city now and because credit has arrived in Mexico (read: anyone can buy a car) the streets are way overloaded.

     A couple of weeks ago a friend was in a car accident. (She is fine thank goodness and her precious cargo wasn’t with her.) Guess where the accident happened? IN A TRAFFIC CIRCLE. Why? Because a taxi driver (they are THE WORST of all the drivers here, I get the feeling they think they own the streets) blew the stop sign. It’s a stop sign that nobody stops at. I don’t even stop at it, but at least I treat it like a yield sign!

     They ain’t much for safety here either. I see car seats for sale all over the place and I have even seen a public safely announcement on TV, but it’s not the law so most people don’t use them. It’s one thing if the person is driving a beat-up 1985 Volkswagen bug, I mean, they probably can’t afford one, although if you can afford the bug then can’t you afford a car seat? It really pisses me off when I see someone in a fancy SUV with their baby on their lap in the front seat. Either way, you don’t have to be educated or rich to think, if I get in an accident, what is gonna happen to my baby?

     Another really dangerous thing that is done here a lot…a bunch of people riding around in the back of a truck. I know, some of you think that it’s fun and maybe you used to do that at your grandma’s farm, but as I have already said, people here drive like crap. One tiny rear-end accident and everyone back there is gonna go flying. So I’ll just say this, adults, you have the ability to chose for yourself but don’t put kids and animals back there!

     Told ya it was gonna be pure bitching. Well, I’m off to pick-up my precious cargo. Wish me luck!

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