I can drive. I don’t really mind it. But I am certain that if I were to take to the streets of Chile in a nice, eco-friendly car, or even my bike, my survival would be a flip of the coin. Here are some of the factors that motivate me to stick to the metro when possible:
1. The lines make NO SENSE.
Dear United States, How do you know if you are on a street with two-way traffic? That’s right, double yellow lines. How do you know in Chile? Spidey sense.
Now, let’s head to Chile, where the line that tells you it’s ok to pass between lanes of one-way traffic is also the line that indicates passing zones in two-way traffic: a dotted white line. That has made crossing streets complicated, forget about driving.
2. Ambulance lights. They’re on whether there’s an emergency or not. People will usually either casually move out of the ambulance’s way, or try drafting the ambulance, taking the easy fast lane that opens up behind it.
3. Eventos. It’s worse than a pothole; it’s an event.
4. Lomos de Toro. If the eventos don’t get you, the speed humps will. They’re not smooth or gradual, like they might be in the States. They are called “bulls’ backs” because they emulate the thrilling sport of bull riding. Seems like something I want on the street.
5. It never rains, but FLOODS. To translate my friend, Brent’s, adroit commentary: “Is there anyone that could lend me one of those machines to make holes in the street? We seem to lack storm drains here, so I’m thinking about making them myself, thank you. There’s a DIY for storm drains, right?”
6. Taxi drivers with death wishes.
7. Motorcycles with death wishes.
8. Drunk pedestrians abroad with death wishes. (See also: Soccer fans.)
9. Micros wishing for the death of all the drunk thirteen-year-olds that just hopped aboard. Keep in mind, they most likely didn’t pay and are probably banging makeshift instruments, yelling, and smoking. On the bus.
10. Soccer fans. There are three kinds of soccer fans you’ll find hazardous to traffic. One, the drunk and obnoxious pedestrians (with vuvuzelas, perhaps.) Two, the reckless drivers that won’t stop honking their flipping horns. And three, a combination of both (See: Johnny Herrera).
If my argument doesn’t seem convincing yet, don’t worry. There’s more: “Ten More Reasons Not to Drive in Santiago.”
As always, stay safe.