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Monday, May 21, 2007

hoy no circula

This very apt explanation of the inner workings of driving in Mexico City (author unknown) is worth a read. The author has definitely clocked some driving time in D.F.!


If you ever need to drive on the streets of Mexico City the following rules my help you get to your destination in one piece.
On starting your car, implore your higher power for divine intervention in protection against the perils of the Mexico City streets.
Be careful with the confident reverse driver. This type of driver is famous for backing his/her car with a complete disregard of whatever is on its path. If you encounter one of these drivers then you are just in time to practice the Mexico City driver greeting.

The Mexico City Driver Greeting

When greeting a Mexico City driver, slowly lower your window and be prepared to greet the driver with: "tu madre, pendejo." However if you have already been addressed by a fellow driver, reply with "la tuya, cabron."

On Turn Signals

If a driver in another lane turns on the turn signal, do not let him go into your lane. In fact, press the accelerator and start driving right next to him/her. The fellow driver probably will greet you and you already know what to do.

On Traffic Lights

These amusing artifacts hang from intersections for no apparent reason. Sometimes you will see the drivers stop to watch the colors change on these lights (a fascinating experience). Government officials (specifically police) believe that each color stands for an instruction for drivers to follow. From pure observation I have determined the following instructions for each color:

Yellow light: accelerate your car as much as possible.
Red light: this gives permission to the next five to six cars to go through.
Green light: reduce speed and wait for the five to six cars passing through their respective red lights.

On Changing Lanes

Changing lanes has been elevated to an art form in Mexico City. First of all, no matter what you do, never turn on your turn signal or otherwise you'll stimulate the reaction described above. Second, swerve your car uncontrollably toward the lane you want to change to, preferably so that you end up within inches of a car in that lane. At this point a greeting from the other driver may be in order. To perfect your change of lanes, reduce the speed of your car dramatically in a matter of seconds and you will see an action packed reaction from the car behind you.

On Pedestrians

These individuals are an annoyance to the Mexico City driver. If you see pedestrians in your way, accelerate your car to let them know who is boss. If you are at intersection, let the pedestrians know you want to proceed by flinging your car at them.

On Social situations

Drivers should reduce speed and stop their cars in the middle of the street and chit chat. what about the other drivers? Well, they can wait.

On Highway Driving

Bottleneck formation: to accomplish this type of driving, cars must block all lanes by driving at the same speed and side by side (to prevent other cars from passing). It is important to dive at a speed at least 20 mph below the speed limit.

The Three-Lane-Change: This movement requires a lot of precision and creativity. It should be done around the highest number of cars possible and in a matter of seconds to create what others may refer to as widespread panic.

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