Friday, November 24, 2006

Stop Signs, Hangers, and other such happenings

Stop signs in La Ceiba are completely optional. They do exist at most street corners, however, they are only stopped at if another car is coming - and even then, some of the cars barely slow down, and just swerve. Better hope that you don't happen to be a pedestrian at that particular intersection, because while they might swerve to miss the car, they probably won't swerve to miss you. But don't worry, they usually honk to warn you that you are in their way. That should give you just about enough time to dive out of the way. There may be a little too much of the "pasa lo que pasa" attitude here in La Ceiba. Apparently, hitting pedestrians is not much of a big deal.
I have almost been hit several times. I don't even live right downtown, which may be some of the problem. In the center, there are a few redlights, which generally are stopped at, thank god. The second or third night I was here, Veronica took me for a ride downtown one evening so that I could get my bearings. We were driving down la Avenida 14 de Julio, and went through an intersection and nearly got sideswiped by a car who didn't stop at their stop sign. We did not have one, but they did. Veronica hit the brakes, he hit the brakes (interestingly enough noone swerved though), and both of our cars stopped about 2 inches from each other. Of course, it was on my side of the car.
The next day, someone (who was completely serious) said something along the lines of, "well if you stick around, maybe you should buy a car." I laughed, and I think I offended her, so I added quickly that I could get anywhere in La Ceiba that I needed by walking, and I could always take the bus or a taxi if I have to, so I don't need car. She started to object that a car would be better than walking or the bus, when I gave her a look and said I would rather take the bus than get behind the wheel of a car with all these crazy drivers around.

So yeah. I'm Expatriates using free wireless, but my computer is going to die soon and my fries are getting cold.


La Gringa said...

Don't count on a red light to save you. Traffic lights are only suggestions as well. The other day four cars in front of me ran the red light and I don't mean in the first seconds after it turned red.

Katrina said...

hmm... good to know. you are very brave for getting behind the wheel of anything.