March 10th 2008

Driving lessons, BA style

Driving lessons in Buenos Aires.

(The following contains mature subject matter and may not be suitable for some audiences).
Lessons learned while riding the incredibly affordable cabs in BA.
1.Rules are generally to be ignored. By being different from everyone else, you risk injury.
Traffic lites are considered rules.
Painted lanes on streets are ill advised guidelines.
Using turn signals is just a rule.
Using head lites at nite is another silly rule.
Having any space between you and the next vehicle, is a dangerous rule, as another car will slip in.
2.Slowing down at uncontrolled intersections indicates a lack of manhood. If you are in control of a motorcycle this means you must accelerate on approaching such intersections. If you are a taxi, you also accelerate, but you do give way, to other taxis, if you see them.
3. Use of more than one hand, (which means having more than three fingers) on the steering wheel, shows that you are getting too old to navigate quickly. Other indicators of this are any use of gears lower than 3rd or 4rth and/or speeds lower than 55 in heavy traffic, including approaching red traffic lites. Such colors are meant to be ignored with full gusto. They will change.
4. Motorcycles are detested by all, but most of all by taxis, and second by buses. To reduce the m/c numbers it is important to play a full speed game of chicken with them. This involves a rapid approach and attempt to touch their back wheel with your bumper as they weave in and out of heavy traffic. If no m/c are around, it is accepted for taxis to practice the same with buses. Buses are also part of the game, lets cut in front of a vehicle as close as we can to their bumper while they are not looking. This works better if you do not own the taxi you are driving as few win this game. We saw similar behavior by water skiers who cut right in front on our catamaran on the River Delta cruise.. Obviously off duty cabbies.
5. Pedestrians can walk across a street anytime there is a break in traffic. The pedestrian defines what constitutes a ¨break¨, in some instances we have seen this to be as small as a change in attention.
6. At the sign of any holdup in forward motion, always hit the horn immediately and repeatedly. That is what your other hand does when it is not out the window gesticulating. We some some old school drivers who would use one of the three fingers on the wheel to also operate the horn. For left hand gesticulation, only one finger receives any significant use, the rest are along for support.

As a passenger we were grateful for our training in aircraft crashes, as we just usually bent over our knees, with our hands over our heads during our usually brief rides. It is cautioned that if you must look, the side window is best, as a forward view will usually cause you to revisit what you had for your last meal. This is not recommended as a weight reduction scheme.


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One Response to: “Driving lessons, BA style”

  1. BA sounds worse than Naples… and I didn’t think driving standards got any worse than that!
    Take care out there Reg.

    crash course said on 11 Mar 2008 at 5:42 am #

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