Driving in Mexico 

Driving in Mexico is nothing like driving in the United States. It is much more aggressive! In fact I always joke saying, “Mexicians are never in a hurry, until they are in their cars.” If you live in Mexico you know that there is a lot of truth to that statement. 
  
Successful driving in Guadalajara requires two things; a working horn and a passenger who is ready to flap their arm out the passenger window in order to signal other drivers that you want to pull into the right lane. (For some reason here, the turn signal doesn’t seem to indicate lane change.) It is the craziest thing, once that flapping hand comes out of the window, people readily yield and let you maneuver in front of them. If you engage your turn signal, the drivers behind you in either lane will quickly close the gap between them and the car in front of them, immediately boxing you in, however if you use the magic hand trick these aggressive drivers suddenly become chivalrous readily allowing you to change lanes in front of them. 

  
 When we moved to Mexico in 2002, I immediately said, “I think I might be able to drive in Guadalajara, but the one place that I do NOT want to drive is to the Abastos!”  

  
The Abastos is like a farmers market on steroids. It is roughly fifteen entire blocks of vendors. They sell everything from produce to plastics, dry goods to dog food and they supply all of the local stores with their goods. You need no membership to purchase there, only a courageous spirit and a willingness to go head-to-head with any vehicle from a motorcycle with a plastic crate strapped onto it to an 18-wheeler. There is no rhyme or reason to the traffic patterns, mostly it is survival of the fittest. Within less than a week of being in Mexico, & much to my chagrin, I found myself navigating the turbulent roads of “El Abostos.”

2 thoughts on “Driving in Mexico 

  1. Rae says:

    I really enjoyed this! You write so well!

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