Dependable Erection

Monday, December 08, 2008

Third world

Mrs D forwards this story to me of a California journalist returning back home after spending much of the past 7 years reporting from Latin America. Although the gist of the article is mostly political ("In Argentina, Mexico and other places I lived and visited as a foreign correspondent, people asked me if my country had gone crazy."), Mrs D (and i) found this passage telling:
Once a week or so, I am reminded that I am not in Mexico City by a small, everyday miracle of life here. A siren sounds in the distance. As it gets closer, all the cars around me part ways, in a synchronized dance. An ambulance or a fire truck speeds past, and seconds later, all the cars dance back into traffic.

What happens when an ambulance hits crowded traffic in Mexico City? Few if any drivers move. The ambulance driver's strategy is to pull up to the bumper of the vehicle blocking his path and emit an ear-shattering siren blast.

Every time I see an L.A. car stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk, or when I see an L.A. commuter use her turn signal before switching lanes, I think: Ah, it's good to be home.

Also found on the LA Times website is this wonderful story of how chickens can give a town an added dose of quaintness. Good stuff.

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  • Given my sense of their reputations, I was surprised by drivers in both LA and Texas during my recent road trip.

    The LA freeways were often crowded and often fast (and sometimes both, though of course they were sometimes crowded and slow), but I didn't get a sense that they were chaotic.

    And in Texas, everybody on the freeways and highways seemed to stick close to the speed limit. People seemed to take the traffic laws (and traffic cops) seriously.

    By contrast, I thought that the drivers in Salt Lake City were frickin' crazy. Fast, darting in and out, not leaving much room, driving slow in the fast lanes and vice versa.

    Like I said -- I was surprised on many counts.

    By Blogger Marsosudiro, at 3:14 PM  

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