15 December 2009

Mexico: The Speedbumps

Last year, over spring break, I took a little trip to Me-hee-co. It was lovely. The beach was awesome, as was the swim-up bar. Who doesn’t love a swim-up bar? But I think my favorite part of the whole thing was the speed bumps.

I know, I know. It seems weird. Mexican speed bumps are the shit, though. There are at least five different kinds, and they’re everywhere. Residential streets, highways, sidewalks, hallways, you name it. And they take that shit seriously in Mexico.

First, they have the normal, average, everyday USA kind, but about 2 inches taller. If you’re in your teeny tiny car, it’ll rip you up if you don’t slow down. So everyone slows down. These were mostly in public parking lots, like the airport.

Then there are… well, how do I put this? You know the road tits? The ones they use for the left turn lane, so you’ll think really long and hard about trying to get out of it once you’re in it? They’re like the lane dividers but ten times the size? Well, there are speed bumps made out of two to three rows of those. They’re all over the highways and busy streets. They seemed to be the most effective. No one speeds over those things.

After that, we have the big-wide-rounded-top speed bump. It was my favorite when I lived in El Paso, because it’s fun to speed over that kind. They had them in the Target parking lot, and we always referred to them as “Target Speed Bumps.” It never occurred to me that Target may not put those in parking lots nation-wide. What a disappointment. But they had some in Mexico. Not as fun because the cab drivers slowed down too much.

The next ones are the slant-up-flat-top-slant-down kind. I don’t really enjoy these so much. They were the least prevalent, usually seen at check points and things like that. I actually only remember encountering them on the day trip to Chichen Itza. I was on this giant bus. And I get carsick. The tour guide wouldn’t shut up. He kept making these incredibly ridiculous numerological parallels between the Mayan pyramid and everyday things in Western culture. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the Maya didn’t know anything about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or that there would eventually be 52 cards in a deck. But thanks, dude. Glad you could listen to yourself talk for nine hours.

My all-time favorite speed bumps were these ones that were almost the reverse of the slant-up-flat-top-slant-down kind. There were two slant-down-flat-bottom-slant-up-flat-top ones in a row. These were everywhere, but mostly in the residential neighborhoods. Like the one on the way to the hotel. It was almost like they just decided to build in structured potholes. Probably you could get away with speeding over those things, but I wouldn’t advise it.

Of course none of that matters, since lanes and speed limits are really barely even suggestions in Playa del Carmen. Going the wrong way, but in the right lane? No problem. Just pull a U-turn in front of all the traffic, they won’t mind. And if you happen to drive a tour bus, you have the right of way. At all times. Even if it means the guy driving the other way while you’re passing someone has to go off-roading for a few minutes. Some would call it a really boring game of chicken, in which everyone knows who the winner will be. On another trip, some passengers were telling us about the driving in the Dominican Republic. Apparently, there mothers will drive little scooters while just holding their children onto their sides, sort of football style in my imagination. Compared to that, the driving in Playa del Carmen is amazing.


Mary said...

Road tits? That's a new term for me.

Lemmonex said...

Driving just holding the babies!? Is this a joke?

justjp said...

I would like to go to Mexico to go surfing and for Dia De Los Muertos.

carissajaded said...

Well I am happy to know that I should avoid tour buses in Mexico. and possibly driving in Mexico period. So are these road tits a help or a hinder? When i see them I usually just try to swerve around them when possible...

Jay Ferris said...

I hear they were going to install Mexican road tits in all the Targets up here, but they couldn't get any shipped over the border that weren't full of blow. True story.

Toe said...

Ha, this is great. I thought we were going to die in Mexico. But then we went to Vegas and the same company Gray Line transport took us to our hotel and the whole time I was like Wow he drives just like that bus driver in Mexico. Then I asked the Hubs to hold me cause we were definitely going to die. The last time we were in Cancun the bus driver stopped at 7/11 and picked up some beer, for himself, but he politely asked if anyone wanted anything before he went in. And proceeded to drink said beer while navigating the bus.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Ohhh, ive totally had favorite speed bump in the past. i'd drive out of the way to drive over it.

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