~ Conversation snippet from inside our car, Tuesday night, 6:30PM ~
Scene: John & Julie are driving from Polanco to a friend’s house in Condesa for dinner. They are sitting in traffic on Thiers, a street that often requires 2 minutes to drive down, but tonight is requiring about 25 minutes. Traffic is so thick that they both momentarily lose all judgment and purchase a bright blue mini-keg water bottle from one of the dozen street vendors winding their way through traffic.
They are sitting in the far right lane of about 5 lanes, and they see a brown car emerge from a garage & prepare to enter the standstill traffic, roughly one car ahead of them.
Julie: [in a joking tone since this question is totally unrealistic] “Are you going to do your good deed for the day and let that guy in your lane?”
Amazingly, as if God wished to spare John & Julie the moral dilemma, the red car ahead of them lets the brown car into the lane. This is RARE in Mexico City.
Julie: “Wow. That was unexpected.”
They creep ahead another 40 feet, approaching an intersection where numerous cars are in line, waiting forlornly for the gap in traffic that will never come. The red car ahead of them YET AGAIN lets a car enter his lane. This is virtually UNPRECEDENTED in Mexico City.
John: [in a loud, indignant tone] “Who is this ahead of us, The Good Samaritan?!!? What the f is going on here?!!??!”
Julie considers chiding him for his outburst, but realizes she was also wondering “Where is this red car from anyway? Mayberry??”. They chuckle briefly in a moment of self-reflection at what impatient meanies they have become while driving in DF. [Sidenote: lest you think poorly of us, this approach is *required* to survive here. Just trust me.]
Then they move to a middle lane to minimize further confrontations, and distract themselves taking photos out John’s window of a prominent hood ornament.
In summary, I think both of us are going to be banned from driving in the Midwest ever again after our 2.25 years here. Do any training/re-acclimation sessions exist for topics like:
- Re-adapting to Pedestrians: Our Friends, Not Our Targets
- How to Gauge Whether Your Fellow Citizens Deserve to Merge in Front of You
- Car Accidents: Just Because No One’s Bleeding Doesn’t Mean You Didn’t Have One
- Turn Signals and their Place in Society
- Red Lights: They Still Serve a Purpose Before 7AM and after 10PM
Please advise if you know anyone who can help us re-integrate into US-style driving. I think we’re going to need it, or DC’s Beltway’s drivers are never going to know what hit ’em.