rules of the road
The rules of driving in this country are a bit...different than those of American roads. I'm sure so many of you from my hometown have received that forwarded email about the rules of driving in that big city. It's funny, and it's so true. I know I can't contend with that author's creativity, but I thought I'd post a few of the rules of the road in case you lost your mind and decided to visit us and take a rental car out for a spin.
Wrong Turns: In case you take the wrong "exit" off of a major road, there is no need to panic. Simply put you car in reverse, dodge the traffic coming at you, and back your car up until you reach the correct road upon which you want to travel.
U-turns: Similar to this are u-turns under freeways, or flyovers as they are called here. Even though the u-turn is physically designed for only one-way traffic, if you are wanting to save time but are on the opposite side of the u-turn it is perfectly okay for you to drive through it as well. Of course then it's not really a "u" but that doesn't defeat the purpose. Don't forget to honk though, that actually is important.
Horn Usage: Speaking of honking, it is an integral cog in the wheel of traffic flow here. Since driving in lanes is optional here (despite the roadsigns that encourage "Lane Driving is Sane Driving"), it is important to honk. A lot. This way, you can tell all the other cars, "Hello. I'm here." And the other cars do the same, and awareness of others has reached a level of utopia - albeit a very loud one.
Light Usage: Another way to be aware of each other is found in the mountains. If you are driving at night in the mountains, you don't always know if another car is going to come around the curve. So the method of choice is to just simply turn off your headlights. If you can still see some lights, then a car is coming. Luckily, I don't have the answer to the question, "What happens if both cars use this method?"
Right-away: No need to watch out for walkers. Pedestrians don't have the rightaway. They will watch out for themselves. Same goes the for the hundreds of cyclists on the roads. They know to watch out for themselves. Basically, if a vehicle is smaller than yours, you don't need to pay any attention. Only drive carefully around those vehicles that are larger than your own. Obey the size dichotomy of the road, and you will do just fine.
Beware the Bovine: There is one exception to this rule, and that is the cow. Now, your car may be bigger than the bull, but the animal in question doesn't understand these rules of the road, or he has learned through experience that he will be safe no matter where he walks. There is no need for an "I Brake for Cows" bumper sticker, because everyone does that already.
Or...Pretty Much Beware All Animals: There are other animals to watch for as well, but still not near as common as the cow. Last weekend, husband and I were on our way home from dinner when we saw another large animal in the mix on the roads...an elephant. Our friends who were driving their car stopped and let us take pics of the elephant, whose driver graciously posed for some pics before taking off. Where he was headed, we don't know, but I do know one thing - even the man driving an elephant knows and obeys these rules of the road.