As I confessed in an earlier post, I love driving in Mexico. And yes, I was being serious. However, I had to find out that though I am an enthusiastic driver, I am at the same time a very grumpy bystander. Let me explain:
As some of you may know, not too long ago our little cat, the adorable Mr. P. died after being hit by a car. (Bummer, and I still tear up thinking of him.) And he didn’t get killed on one of the major roads but in our very quiet little neighbourhood that has a speed limit of 20 km/h which is about 12 mph. Unfortunately, everybody is far too busy to stay within the speed limit, especially young (expat) mothers who have to get to their spa appointments while their nanny is taking their precious children for a walk.
The first few months after losing Mr. P., I underwent a dramatic metamorphosis from friendly neighbour to crazy person shaking my fists at reckless drivers, swearing and cursing. At times this got a little embarrassing, e.g. when I found out later that it was a business partner of Mr. R.’s. But uh, well… I am just the loopy wife then, I guess. Luckily, I can still dress myself, but in some years you might see me standing by the side of the road in my nightgown, my hair all over the place (oh wait, that’s me NOW!), mumbling crazy things.
But I don’t only blame speeding for quite a few accidents in our neighbourhood. One behaviour drives me absolutely nuts: The multitask driver. Well, I do have to admit that once I used to have that tendency as well. Talking on the phone, fixing lipstick, searching my bag for my housekeys – all the while driving. But I am pretty sure that I never did that in a housing area with children playing on the street and cats and dogs running around. (Not that it would be less dangerous to do that on a freeway…) However, I never mastered this art form quite as well as people here. I’ve seen it all:
Some eat tacos with salsa which requires two hands (unless you are a circus freak), so they have no spare hand for their phone which then gets squeezed in between ear and shoulder while they are busy telling their friend about the hot new gym teacher. The gym teacher who should help them lose the weight they put on by eating too many tacos. Some juggle with a hot pot of coffee and a cigarette, meanwhile texting their latest crush, trying hard not to spill any coffee or burn down the car. But still my favourite is the mobile makeup application. I mean, come on! If you apply makeup in a car, it can only be so good, right? And makeup that’s only so good would only take 2 minutes at home! But no, they keep driving on the left lane, one eye closed, the other one peeping into the mirror trying hard not to poke out their eye with an applicator. Not only that it is dangerous, it also looks really stupid.
I don’t really get this. How come that everything is so much more important than keeping the eyes on the street? In Mexico, nobody ever is on time, so what’s the rush? Everybody is speeding along, trying to set some kind of a record, but the minute people get out of their cars, they start moving at snail speed.
But we are also in a country where you can just talk away a fine or get a 50% discount if you pay cash and straight away. It’s time they get a public transport system here, so people could eat and text and apply makeup without being disturbed by traffic.