sábado, 4 de diciembre de 2010

Survival driving

As a person coming from "DF", as Mexico City is called in Mexico, I have always been proud of my driving skills. You can put me in a traffic jam, with 1 million other cars trying all to get in a one way street, and I will manage to wiggle my room in, without a scratch.

I also have other great skills when I drive, such as eating a full meal (including cereal) without spilling anything or crashing my car, having meaningful conversations (with eye contact on crucial moments so you feel heard), and putting make up on (although there seems to be an indirect correlation between the number of red lights you get and the urgency you have to put your make up on).

But the thing I have always boasted about was my ability to keep my cool. No, no, road rage is for others, not for me. I have always told myself in the car catchy lines such as "We all need to get to the same place", "I am in a hurry because I was late", or "The car in front of me is a reminder to slow down". Breath in, breath out, mantra CD, all is well, I am a happy driver.

Not in Beirut.

I have discovered this merciless beast in me in the streets of Beirut. While facing mopeds that come on the left, on the right, from the back AND on opposite directions (sometimes in highways), and trying to fight my way into a one way street at the same time than the car that is coming towards me, I find myself insulting drivers and their mothers, advancing bumper to bumper so cars won't pass, saying "Yeah, right, in your dreams", and avoiding eye contact with fellow drivers in shared guilt. I don't recognize myself.

But what I can't get over is the fact that the smile DOESN'T WORK in Beirut. In Mexico, I always make eye contact with the driver I want to pass and smile. It always works!! In Beirut, the driver smiles back, sustains eye contact while s/he jams on the accelerator not to let you pass. It's priceless.

So to all my fellows "defenios", all of us who smile to foreigners and say "If you drive in DF you can drive anywhere", allow me to correct you: nope, it's far worst in Beirut. No traffic jams in DF compares the craziness of the streets of Beirut. No DF driver will have the guts to do the tricks I have seen drivers do in Beirut. The rule here is "if there's space, I go in first".

3 comentarios:

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog. Safe Driving around :)

  2. Jaja...Marukita, contínua escribiendo tu día a día. Soy tu fans :)

  3. I totally get u. Although i was a seasonal driver in europe. I always had good manners and respected my fellow drivers. Sometimes, i just want to say to the drivers here: Suck it up, i am not gonna let... first come first served. We tend to become beasts behind the wheel in beirut. I am glad i kept some of my manners