February 22, 2017

Part 2: Five Skills Every Foreigner Should Master While Living in Mexico City

This is Part 2 of a 5 Part series...

#1 Interpersonal Communication Skills (see post below)

#2 Risk Management
Here we refer to honing your driving skills.  Well, actually, in Mexico City, my best advice related to driving is...don’t.  Just don’t.  It’s actually quite difficult to accurately communicate just how crazy the driving is here.  If you can imagine sands through an hour glass...and each grain of sand represents a car...and every car is hell bent on getting through that intersection before everyone else  - well then, I have transported you here. This is where driving rules are apparently overrated and the horn reigns almighty.  

What adds to this joy is the fact that, by some accounts, Mexico City is ranked #1 for the world's worst traffic.  Link

A favorite observation while driving in heavy traffic on a road with three lanes moving in the same direction, is when the vehicle in the furthest most right lane decides to floor it and make a left hand turn cutting off, and in front of, all other lanes.  This of course induces sheer panic and terror for all in the vicinity. What is most amazing...the locals hardly flinch at this type of offense. I, on the other hand, close my eyes and pray, scream, and/or contract whiplash from diving onto the floor of the vehicle.

I also enjoyed the time when my Uber driver missed a turn and rather than going around the block, threw the car in reverse and floored it past heavy oncoming traffic for about 3/4 of a mile.  As I exited the car I gave the driver a bit of side eye - he laughed, threw his hands up and said “Mexican drivers!!”  It’s fun to exit a car in a wave of nausea.  

My neighbor told me her Uber driver fell asleep today with the car moving while driving in heavy traffic.  I won’t share her exact sentiments but let’s just say she kindly woke him up and asked him to pull over to let her out at the next corner.

So managing risk is essential in Mexico City.  While in a moving vehicle, consider blindfolds and earplugs and be prepared to hold your breath the entire trip.

Complete hats off to the locals and to my foreign friends who drive here - you all deserve superhero status!

Stay tuned for Part 3...Minimizing Distractions!

1 comment:

  1. My beautiful girl dog, Mango, came from Mexico & I drove around when I went to get her. O-M-G...it was INSANE!!! I'd just hold my breath driving & hope for the best. That whole thing of people going from one side of the road across 3 lanes in front of you! Florida is a very close second.


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