Acquiring a driver’s license in Mexico City can be done with a concerning level of ease. You just bring your passport & your visa (showing you’re in the country legally) to the Secretaria de Transportes y Vialidad, and after an hour- you are good to go! No written exams, no driving test, no nothing.
This level of rigor is duly reflected in the skill levels of drivers around here, as I have alluded to previously. Mastering the unwritten rules of the road definitely took me a few weeks, but now I have learned to drive as crazily as the rest of ’em. Some key tips include:
- Never use your turn signal (sign of weakness & alerts others to your secret desires, i.e. to be in the left lane)
- Never make eye contact (also sign of weakness)
- When you see a car at an intersection a block ahead of you debating whether to pull out in front of you, give your horn a few rapid honks. This translates as “If you dare pull out in front of me I will slam into your car with the wrath of a thousand angry burros”
- If their car is crappier than yours, they will win when it comes to who gets to merge first. (they have less to lose)
- Never drive in the far right lane, as it is constantly littered with peseros stopping to pick up/drop off passengers, cars parked with their hazard lights on, and guys riding 3-wheeled carts selling water jugs/breakfast breads/other tasty morsels.
Anyway, I often wonder how the more timid among us manage to get up the nerve to start driving in this city. The answer is right here:
Of all the cars on the road, I fear these the most– with the “Auto School– Caution” warning emblazoned on their rear. I guess I should be appreciative of the fraction of the percentage of DF residents who actually try to learn how to drive from a professional. Unfortunately, these instead strike me as both accident magnets and weaklings who are just waiting to be naturally selected. God bless those Auto School instructors who put their lives on the line daily to try and teach a subject that really can’t be taught… it can only be learned through experience.
As for me, I am steering clear of these bright-eyed pupils…outside of giving them the quadruple warning honk if they even consider venturing near my lane while clipping along at 15mph…