Saturday, July 29, 2006

Beep, beep!

The drivers in Costa Rica are, on a whole, absolutely horrible. They try to run you off the highway, beep at every freakin' green light (unless you jump it while it's still red), and yell at you if they do something stupid. Seriously, it is way out of control. I think the main problem is that there are not enough highway patrol officers here, and people know it, so they figure their chances of getting caught doing anything really stupid are slim to none. And, usually when you do see a highway patrol, they're just checking for speeders. It is rare to see one actually driving around on the highways. (Side note: regular police officers cannot give you any kind of ticket for a moving violation, another point in favor of idiotic drivers.)

Some years ago, I read about a guy who'd gotten fed up with the incessent honking in New York City and created what he called honkus, posting them all over the city. I thought at the very least it would be cathartic to write a few of my own, and since my Spanish was not all that at the time, I didn't post them up all over town. Though now that my Spanish is better, I may give it another go... Here are the ones I wrote all those years ago, for your enjoyment and driving enlightenment:

driving lesson one:
¡vamonos, idiota!
green light? yell and honk

bus coming my way
driver wants to play chicken
one lane street? so what!

“Avoiding Potholes”
a game anyone can play
oops, there goes muffler

taxi in a rush
five o’clock work traffic jam
he makes his own lane

Chepe, on Tenth Ave.:
lock your car doors — don’t look now
crackhead on your left

accident ahead?
we could be here for hours…
nope, it's just a cow

phone case? newspaper?
flag? fruit? lottery ticket?
“Intersection Mart”

risking my life
an uninsured pirate cab
am I that crazy?

late night, San José:
scary cab driver pit stop
thank God, we weren’t robbed

bus doing ninety
praying for my life to keep
I need my own car

driver stops taxi
grabs guitar, sings a love song
best cab ride ever

neighbors, home at 3
a.m., honk their arrival
don’t sleep much lately

honking your car horn
the new national pasttime
move over, soccer!

Since I know that terrible driving is not restricted to Costa Rica, I'd love to hear your honkus, no matter where you're from.

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