Monday, May 20, 2013

Rules of Engagement

 " How to Drive in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay"

My husband assures me that there are rules for driving in this city. After years of careful observation I have gathered together the following rules of the road as I see them...

Never pull into a continuous stream of traffic with your eyes open.

Horse drawn vehicles should keep to the middle of the road and weave.

Fast vehicles should stay in Asuncion.

If you are coming from a side road onto the main road, you have the right of way. Do not slow down unless you roll over or hit something. Only stop if the object hit appears to have life.

Hand signals should primarily indicate the driver’s mood.

Only stop at a red light if the car in front has stopped.

At a crossroad when turning left, get into the right hand lane.  Beware of the motorcycle!

At a crossroad when turning right, get into the left-hand lane. Beware of the motorcycle!

If a horse cart hits you, you are going too slow.

If a police car hits you, you are driving recklessly.

If you hit a Paraguayan it's your fault.

If you hit a Brazilian its his fault.

If you hit an Argentine go to the nearest police station and claim your prize.

Do not enter spaces narrower than the width of the car, or a taxi narrower than the width of the passenger.

It is necessary to turn on the windshield wiper a few seconds before any stop.  This will keep some of the wind shield washers from spraying your glass with soapy water.

The horn operation must be checked at least every 10 meters, usually in order to move a cow from the road.

You may also be required to have brakes.

Two lanes are for driving in both directions, whichever side you are on.

The internal mirror is for the use of the driver only - to comb his hair, or hang his icons from.

If you are a foreigner, speed limit signs are in km/h

If you are a native speed limit signs are in m.p.h.

If you are driving on a cobble stone street, the speed limit is as fast as your dental work will allow.

All drivers must comply with the speed limit... or some multiple thereof.