This is { Wherever } Wednesday #6: Driving in Guatemala

DETOUR on the ROAD

I posted this on instagram earlier today because it was my detour while driving to a meeting up at one of our schools. What you can’t totally see from the picture is there is a 50 ft drop off on the left side and an another drop behind the tractor.

this. is. guatemala.

I thought I’d share a few rules of the road that I’ve learned in the past few years:

-Always, always look out for speed-bumps. They’re on every street, often every 10 feet. (it’s great practice for downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear) #yesilearnedhowtodrivestickshifthere

-when you come to a narrow street, bridge with one lane, etc. the bigger car always has the right away. (thankfully because I drive this beast around so I usually get the right away) #myhusbandshareshistruckwithme

– If you need to run into the store, grab coffee, get something at a tienda, etc- just pull over and leave your flashers on.

It means “sorry-I-know-what-I’m-doing-is-illegal-but-I’m-going-to-do-it-anyway.” It works especially well for “parking” where it’s red or when you know you’re blocking one lane of traffic. #everyonedoesit #weuseflashersalot

-you CAN pass cop cars or in this case cop trucks (not joking!)

Nothing. I repeat nothing happens. The first time Gerber zoomed around a police truck I just about peed my pants. I may have screamed, “what the heck are you doing?” Shocked, he looked at me dumbfound. Whatttt??? Since then I’ve taken on the same nonchalant attitude and I pass a cop at least once a day. #youcouldneverdothatinthestates

– When you have to break suddenly or you see a long line of cars in front of you braking. What you do? Use the flashers. I think it signals to everyone else, hey, I’m really breaking here. again #weuseflashersalot

-I’ve already written here about Guatemalans’ creative use of tree branches and other forms of saying CAUTION while on the road. So not only do you have be able to interpret tree branch and rock code, but look for the use of flashing brights. If someone coming the opposite direction on the highway flashes their brights at you it means “hey, watch out…something is up-ahead.” I think I’d like a Morris code system. Something like one quick flash = hole in the road, two quick, one long flash = accident ahead and one short, two long = mudslide. But what I do know is you have to #alwaysbeonthelookout

– seeing people in the back of a pickup is totally, 100% normal. I mean check out this girl- she is not worried at all about seat-belts, head injuries, accidents, and everything she learned in physics about the moving velocity of objects inside a car keep moving at that speed even when the car comes to a stop. #ipaidattentionindriverstraining

Happy Wednesday to you! Drive safe out there.

Are there any new driving laws in the states?

 

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2 thoughts on “This is { Wherever } Wednesday #6: Driving in Guatemala

  1. Love this series. This is not a new law, but I’m in NC this week, and people keep answering their phone as they drive. Super disorienting, especially when it’s the shuttle driver of the 15 passenger van taking me to the school.

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