Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Driving in DF

At last, I've done something here that I promised I'd never do: DRIVE!! There might be worse places to drive than Mexico City, but driving here seemed like my personal hell. There are serious safety laws not being followed, lane markers not being used, random cars stopped in the middle of traffic, red light runners, and drivers criss-crossing through traffic like Super Mario Kart. In fact, in the worst case of road rage I've ever witnessed came straight from some Demolition Derby competition with two cars engaged in a deliberate ramming of their vehicles. That scene pretty much squashed any desire I had to drive.

But, after one too many no-show and "you look foreign, I shall rip you off" taxistas, I decided to drive myself to work. Since the typical rules of defensive driving don't apply -- following a safe distance, using your signal, stopping at red lights -- I first had to relearn how to drive. Over the weekend, I got in the car, practiced the route, cut a few people off, swerved between lanes, and stopped using my signal (actually, I'm still in the process of unlearning that good habit :)) It was basically a route overview to work and figuring out which lanes were safe, i.e. which lanes wouldn't suddenly end. FYI, you can never go wrong with the middle lane.

So, here I am, having completed two roundtrips to work and back, and I feel so empowered! I still love the convenience of public transportation, but I am loving even more this new and reliable way to get to work. And, I conquered a dreaded fear, and it just wasn't as bad as my mind had made it out to be.


  1. I second that driving in the middle lane is the best option. Good luck driving here. Just be careful and that's it, trust no one but your instincts.

  2. Congrats!! Super exciting news. I'm so glad it's worked out for you... maybe you can drive us to Costco sometime soon? :-)

  3. Alice -- I love the middle lane, but sitting in the middle means I get cut off a lot. But as long as no one hits me, I'm okay with that.

    Lesley -- Thanks! You'll have to be my extra pair of eyes. Need to practice that route.

  4. If you ever need it I drive small camioneta, I can lend you both my driving experience in México and the trunk for the purchases :D

  5. *clap clap clap* Congrats! Yes, it is definitely terrifying at first, but then it becomes kind of liberating... You can get out all your secret aggression on the road.
    Just wait until your first accident... once that is over, then you will truly have no fear.

  6. Julie -- gracias! i used to sharpen pencils to whittle away work stress, but driving here does appear to be fulfilling that need. Next girls' trip, I'll drive but not to cities with one way hills.