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Driving tip for gringos

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After living here full time for 12 years without a car, always riding the bus or walking, which I enjoyed, I finally bought a car because I'm not getting any younger.  Needless to say, I'm going through culture shock, not only driving again after all these years... but in Mexico!  I'm experiencing life differently from the vantage point of not only being inside, but driving a car.  I prepared myself and am always vigilant and carefully driving, to make up for all the other people who are not.

Today's little incident was this:  Coming home, I turned down Calle Juan Alvarez to pass Alex's pasta place and head home.  That is technically a 2-way street, although it can be crowded enough with parked cars on either side that two oncoming cars cannot pass eachother.  The protocol for driving on these narrow but 2 way streets is that when two cars are approaching eachother from opposite directions, the driver who is closest to an open space is the one to pull over and let the other person get by.  I was facing some jerk coming up the road who had spaces on either side of him to pull over but he rudely failed to do so.  In order to avoid a stand off - we couldn't see eachother because of windshield glare, so I had to back up to let him by, surprising passing pedestrians and cars going through the lateral.  Lucky no one got hurt.  As he passed I saw that it was an old gringo male.  What a jerk.  This ME FIRST attitude just doesn't cut it here, in traffic or anywhere else.  You have to drive very considerately here to navigate all the irregularities that we are not used to.  Gracias.

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Patience wins the day in Mexico. Responses such as swearing, honking and road rage can escalate very quickly, very dangerously. There is an older generation who thinks their vehicle gives them an impervious protection, and a younger generation who believes they can be reckless, because they have protection of angels on their shoulders.

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OMG. Do NOT get me going about the !d!ots who go the wrong way on laterals!!!

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I've seen golf carts go the wrong way on laterals as if driving regulations don't apply to them because they are not "cars".  When they get smashed by someone backing out of a head-in parking spot and don't see them, maybe the blood will be a reminder about the rules regarding laterals.  Of course, there are no signs pointing out that it's one way but the regulation book shows this law.  Of course, who knows where the law book is.

 

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Was once going down a two way street with cars parked on both sides, so only enough room for one car to drive through. I was halfway down the block when a car full of young Tapatio boys started to turn onto the street from the other direction. Now, everyone who lives around here would just wait for the car that was halfway down the street to pass before turning. Not these guys- they turned onto the street and just kept driving until they were nose to nose with me, then shut off the ignition, leaned back, crossed their arms and put their feet up on the dashboard.  I sat there for awhile in a literal Mexican stand-off, then backed up. I had things to do, otherwise I would have just sat there for hours if need be.

Real nice, how their parents brought them up to feel so entitled. 

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The unspoken rule has always been that cars going uphill in Ajijic always have the right of way. 

The reason was because most cars had were standard and it was hard to get momentum.

Now that most cars are automatic that reason is gone, but the locals still adhere to it.

If the guy coming up was a foreigner then he probably was just rude.

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2 minutes ago, Taaffe said:

The unspoken rule has always been that cars going uphill in Ajijic always have the right of way. 

The reason was because most cars had were standard and it was hard to get momentum.

Now that most cars are automatic that reason is gone, but the locals still adhere to it.

If the guy coming up was a foreigner then he probably was just rude.

And if the driver was Mexican it is OK?

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I’m not making a judgement, just explaining the reason why uphill traditionally has the right of way.

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The rudest drivers I have encountered were in Texas. That being said, young mexicans are very angry re the US political situation and sometimes take it out on expat encounters. iN THE SAID SITUATION, I too just turn the car off and wait. Offer to call the police.

Some expats seem to think if they see a mexican do something they can too. Firstly they are assuming the mexican would get away with it if seen and secondly you can count on getting away with about as much as a mexican would back where you came from.

BTW I have worked with all the police and the transit jail is far worse.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Ajijic_hiker said:

this is why I don't drive in Mexico    🤪

Not much better in a lot of places in the US anymore IMO. Proper driving seems to be an afterthought anymore.

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Harry, can you tell me why "young Mexicans" are angry? I have wondered, as I have noticed an uncharacteristic sullen attitude in a young employee at my bank, and several other places. Has me a bit worried. I speak Spanish and am unfailingly polite. 

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they see their opportunities in the US disappearing. There have been many deported

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14 hours ago, Honorandfaith said:

Harry, can you tell me why "young Mexicans" are angry? I have wondered, as I have noticed an uncharacteristic sullen attitude in a young employee at my bank, and several other places. Has me a bit worried. I speak Spanish and am unfailingly polite. 

AMLO is screwing up and they follow the main stream Mexican news and know it is bad now.

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4 hours ago, AlanMexicali said:

AMLO is screwing up and they follow the main stream Mexican news and know it is bad now.

Maybe if you could be more specific ref "screwing up" and "it is bad now"

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there is an economic crisis and sales are down in many parts of Mexico. Violence is reported up..Many of the Federal programs are down for the majority of the people receiving them.Cutting out the corruption program is not working...

I am not saying this to cut down AMLO  but this is what I see in parts of the country.

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Economic growth was initially expected to be at least 3% to 4% this year .For most developing economies this has been downgraded to 3%, even in the U.S.A. where they are also trying to swallow a record $1 trillion deficit, in an economic downturn and after major tax cuts. Mexico's growth is estimated to be 1%.

There is nowhere to get rich quick anymore. Unless you are in some sweet corruption scheme. Crooks are being caught ever increasingly because of millions of dollar worth of advanced surveilance equipment and computer sniffers being returned from the Middle East.

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2 hours ago, lakeside7 said:

Maybe if you could be more specific ref "screwing up" and "it is bad now"

Read all of the mainstream news in Mexico and see the real situation unfolding and hope AMLO reverses the direction he is going before more damage is done to many Mexican institutes.

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I have been here for 13 years and would like to remind everybody to be polite when driving.  If you are on one of those narrow two way streets pull over into an empty spot if you can so the other guy can pass.  If someone does it for you make sure you wave a gracias to them.  when you are on the carretara slow down and let other cars in.  You can do this by either flashing your lights or giving them the hand signal that means go ahed.  This signal is putting your hand up in front of your face with your palm facing your face.  You do this symbol for letting pedestrians cross as well.  It is also used for Gracias.  And my final tip for the road is “pull out and give er”. There is no need to be a scardy pants when you are trying to enter the carretara.  Just put your nose of your car out there, you will notice most people will slow down and let you cross or into the stream of traffic.  Keep things moving folks!  
 

 

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Ajijic Hiker... Regarding visitors. Can you be more specific? I see MORE people coming, but not a different KIND of person. Now I haven't been here that long (2 years), but I guess I don't get it. And the sarcasm is really unnecessary. Kinda tacky, too. 

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With parking at a premium, I too am in favor of ridding our streets of abandoned/dead cars!

Driving tips...  Learning the local laws is a good place to start.

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Delegado Juan Ramon of Ajijic has worked to get rid of junk cars. Note if they have current licence plates/ stickers they can't be touched. Call Juan at the office and give him the address. Sorrry, he can't help outside of Ajijic, but, the corresponding delegado should.

 

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that is the right approach to solving problems. If it doesn't work THEN I am happy to get involved. But, Juan is really trying.

 

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Ajijic Hiker...With all due respect (which isn't much), the President did not say that, seen in context. I suggest you go on Youtube and view the entire video in context. He did not say "all Mexicans", he said "some", and that is very true.

Surely you know that the press in the US and MX lie all the time about our President. And yet, I have never seen among ANY of my friends here or in the US, discourtesy to Mexicans, young or old. So it's really too bad that these young Mexicans choose to violate the unspoken rule here that one is courteous to all, regardless of feelings, and especially in a business setting, because that bank has lost my business. I went elsewhere.

Mexico, which I have been visiting for 52 years, and owning a home for 3, has not been a good neighbor to the US. I grew up in San Antonio with upper-class Mexicans as neighbors, and they were lovely people. But the crime in my affluent county increased 500% after the big influx of illegals started in 1988 (according to the chief of police), my brother's murder only being one crime among many.

Yes, murder ...My brother, a pastor, was viciously murdered in the sanctuary of his church by two illegals, one being Mexican. 13 bullets worth, while they were robbing their 3rd church of the day. They had robbed 100s of churches in the months previous. His wife was 5 months pregnant with their "miracle baby", for which they had tried for in the 6 years previous. She almost miscarried when she got the news. They also had a young son. There were 800 people at his funeral, he was so beloved. He never knew a stranger. We were a poor church, but rich in love, and he would have given them whatever money he had, and blessed them in the process. But they had to kill him. Cost the taxpayers $10M to try and incarcerate the two murderers, who had no remorse.

And if you are the person I think you are, neither will you have any empathy for this situation. And maybe your snide comments could be reserved for those who deserve it, because I certainly don't. Breeding tells, doesn't it? And aren't politics supposed to be avoided in this forum? And if so, why didn't you have the good manners to avoid the political reference? My condolences for the bitterness which has obviously consumed your life.

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