I could grow to love this place. Many of you will be familiar with my penchant for keeping things as simple as possible. Mexicans seem to share that attitude.
Take the roads for example. There are no give way lines or stop lines on the junctions. There are no pelican crossings – unnecessary or otherwise. The streets are not cluttered with signage like they are in the uk either. Most urban streets seem to be one way, and it took me a while to suss out how you tell which way they run, other than noting the direction all the parked cars are facing. Look carefully at the top pic, see the little arrows above the street names?
The only traffic lights I’ve seen so far were on the highway close to Cancun airport. Overtaking can be done either side of the vehicle in front, and lane discipline seems to consist of basically not hitting anyone else whilst changing lanes. At junctions you just work your way into the traffic stream. At particularly busy (or tricky?) ones on the highways there are speed bumps close to the turning; serious speed bumps that you are definitely going to slow down for regardless of what you’re driving.
In urban areas the only speed bumps are some of the occasional pedestrian crossings. The same applies; hell, some of the kerbstones in Tequila are 18 inches high…
The net result is you have to pay attention to the job of driving. And as far as I’ve seen, it appears to work.
This relaxed, (but attentive) attitude seems to permeate all aspects of driving. It’s not unusual to see people riding in the back of pick up trucks, or whole families on a motorbike, kids squashed between parents, not a crash hat between them. Then there are the mobile adverts; not mobile hoardings such as we see at home, but vehicles (yeah, usually battered old pick ups) with loud speakers playing adverts for who knows what. The UK noise police would have heart attacks; here it’s just one more aspect of a bustling, thriving, but chilled out city.
Addendum: I’ve just watched a young woman in a battered old Toyota turn the wrong way into a one-way street – then force her way across the oncoming traffic to park on the forecourt of the first building on the left. Not only do I think that she knew exactly what she was doing, I think everyone else knew too! In the UK such action would no doubt produce a torrent of horn blowing and abuse. In Tequila it warranted no more than a gently shaken head and a couple of smiles…