- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- Passive Drivers Eat Shit in Latin America
Almost a week ago, I moved to another part of Mexico City called Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
In doing so, I got an Uber to drive me over.
Thankfully, the Uber driver didn’t fuck with me.
I’ve had some really bad luck in the last 5 or more times that I’ve used an Uber in the last month or two.
For those who don’t know, it seems more common these days for Uber drivers in Mexico City to do some bullshit where they will drive around you several times over or go off the recommended path to get to you in hopes that you cancel the trip beforehand.
That way they can get some cancellation fee without having to spend the gas going where you are going.
Personally, I think it’s retarded because how much money do they really make from said cancellation fee versus the gas they do spend going on a longer route to get to you in hopes and with no guarantee that you’ll cancel?
Then, when I don’t cancel, you lost out on a tip I would’ve given otherwise that would be more than the minimal cancellation fee.
It’s retard logic for you.
Anyway, as I said, this Uber driver actually wasn’t playing games with me.
And he got a decent tip for his effort!
Along the way to the new apartment anyway, I also noticed that he was a little bit different from other Uber drivers I’ve had.
For example, as I wrote here, I once lived around the same area that I’m moving to but chose to move to the northern area of Mexico City.
Well, during that trip about 3 months ago, the driver was noticeably a little more aggressive during the ride.
Where he’d cut people off quite often or ride onto lanes that he legally shouldn’t have to get to the destination faster.
Personally, I didn’t complain because I’m used to it.
And, being honest, I’ve seen drivers in other Latin countries be MUCH more aggressive than your average Mexican driver.
Colombians and Dominicans especially.
No Mexican has shit on those people when it comes to aggressiveness in driving.
And, to be fair, you could maybe say your average American doesn’t have shit on your average Mexican when it comes to the aggressiveness in driving.
I’ve seen videos of Americans driving in Mexico for the first time and finding themselves confused on the chaotic nature of driving down here.
Others get used to it obviously.
I’ve never had to drive down here personally and only been in the passenger seat thankfully.
Still, not every Mexican is overly aggressive in driving.
I’m sure it depends on the region.
In Mexico City, shit can be intense though for obvious reasons like how the large amount of traffic really fucks with things.
So on and so on.
And this Uber driver that I mentioned wasn’t particularly aggressive.
He was pretty chill in his driving and would be courteous to others on the road.
Never driving on other lanes like the one for bicycles or the metrobus to get ahead like I’ve seen plenty of people do like that other Uber driver who drove me to the north of Mexico City as mentioned.
Though, with him driving more respectfully, you could also say that he was being pushed around a little bit so to speak.
People cutting him off!
There was one funny moment in particular where we were supposedly by La Merced area as you can see here.
Sorry for the blurry photo...
Anyway, he told me it was close to La Merced supposedly but I don’t know for sure.
And some dude literally sped around him and cut in front him very quickly that it caused my driver to hit his breaks hard.
Aggressive mumbling commenced with him saying shit about the driver.
Life moved on.
And there were other moments that were not very consequential either but just examples of the dude being the more “passive” one on the road with others taking advantage.
Moments that arguably led to us getting to our destination a little bit slower than normal.
In fact, though the whole ride wasn’t traffic heavy, there were some parts.
While the ride in my experience normally takes maybe an hour to complete from Lindavista to Pedregal de Santo Domingo, this one took almost 2 hours.
Did it bother me?
For one, I knew it would be a longer trip as Uber told me ahead of time.
But also it didn’t matter so much if we arrived a little bit late given the landlord herself made me wait like 30 minutes for her to show up.
Still, it’s a topic worth bringing up.
But before we get to the point, let’s bring up a funny example.
“Fuck the Stop Sign!”
As I said before, Mexicans really are not the worst drivers on the planet.
They’re actually pretty reasonable relative to a few other Latin countries that I could mention.
One of them being Colombia.
Now, to be fair, not all of Colombia is shit at driving either.
I thought those in Bogota were relatively more respectful of others on the road compared to those along the coast in Barranquilla for example.
Though I’m sure those who live in Bogota might have plenty to complain about traffic there also for sure.
I’m only comparing it to Barranquilla which, in my experience in Latin America, has some of the worst drivers I have ever fucking seen.
It’s an example I’ve already brought up before on my website so I’ll keep it brief.
When I lived in Barranquilla, I took a taxi twice a day to and from a university called Universidad del Norte.
The typical driving was so bad that it legit made me think that I have a decent shot of being hurt or killed in a car crash.
Especially as none of the taxis had seat belts and the drivers were usually absolute shit.
One thing in particular that they would do often is honk their vehicle for a long time while speeding up past a stop sign or sometimes a red light.
The honk noise would be a way to say “FUCK YOU, I AIN’T STOPPING!” to anyone else.
On a few occasions, I remember almost getting in a car accident.
Though nothing too serious that it deserves mentioning to be honest.
I’ve probably forgotten to mention them before simply because they never happened to be anything.
But they were moments that you would expect.
Some driver thinking it’s OK to turn and then finding a speeding bullet rushing down the road and almost getting hit.
All it takes is for two individuals to have the same attitude.
Either way, being passive in driving doesn’t help in Colombia either.
At least not in Barranquilla.
The point here is to simply serve as a warning to other folks thinking on driving in Latin America.
Of course, it’s ironic for me to be the one giving the warning given I have never driven down here before.
Only been in the passenger seat of numerous vehicles being driven around from Point A to Point B.
And, during those experiences, it’s simply been something I’ve noticed when living down here.
If you aren’t aggressive yourself in driving, expect to be taken advantage of.
And expect for your trip to take noticeably longer to complete – especially if you are in a high traffic area.
I’m sure this applies to driving in other parts of the world.
Only that, as I said, it does seem to me that driving is a lot more aggressive and being passive will result in worse results down here than where I am from.
But, as I always say, where I’m from is Iowa.
I’m sure drivers in NYC or Chicago might have their own interesting contrasts when it comes to driving between any city like those above and Latin America more broadly.
And, equally so, Latin America is a big region and I’m sure driving is not so intense obviously in some rural area of Argentina perhaps.
Either way, it’s just an observation and nothing more.
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Thanks for reading.