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Dec 22, 2011, 3:29 PM

Post #1 of 5 (6683 views)


Cultural Differences

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In the many times we've visited Mexico, we have obviously seen cultural differences..... between the US and Mexico and between some areas in Mexico vs others. But there is one difference that I have never observed and it has to do with driving courtesy.

We've been in San Miguel de Allende for about 3 weeks now. We have our car but we also walk a considerable amount. San Miguel, as many who have been here know, has a traffic problem in centro. Narrow one-way streets, lots of taxis and buses and a lot of pedestrian traffic.

But after about a week I began to notice something that is, in my experience, very rare..... traffic courtesy! ALL drivers, including the taxi and bus drivers, were conceding right-of-way to both other drivers and pedestrian traffic. It became surreal! If one is walking and comes to a corner, the approaching driver with motion you across.... sometimes even in the middle of a block! Of course, no one is able to drive very fast due to traffic and narrow streets with blind corners, but..... A few days ago I was in a taxi and when we came to one of those unregulated intersections, another taxi driver slowed down (he wasn't going very fast to begin with) and let my taxi driver turn into the stream of traffic ahead of him!

Yesterday I mentioned this to a 30-something Senorita agent at a rental management company with whom I was dealing. She grew up in SMA and speaks perfect English. She said to me, "it is our culture here in SMA. We are courteous with traffic and pedestrians."

She has that right! Really refreshing too.... something that I am not used to seeing, whether it is SOB or NOB.


Dec 22, 2011, 5:22 PM

Post #2 of 5 (6671 views)


Re: [RickS] Cultural Differences

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We just returned yesterday after spending 3 weeks in Oaxaca and they have exactly the opposite considerations of traffic and pedestrians!!! There are about 6 different colored taxi companies and what seems like a bazillion busses and let me tell you, whoever has the strongest nerves, gets where they are going first! I have NEVER encountered such rude, inconsiderate drivers in any of our Mexican travels. We have friends that winter there and they take taxis everywhere they can't walk to and they said they just close their eyes and hope they arrive in one piece.
Here in Colima and Comala, they have a lovely custom of uno y uno....very civilized. Having lived in Mazatlan for about 10 yrs. this is a welcome change......the drivers there being just clueless!!! It seems they drive half consciousn the Mississippi of Mexico..JA.
This is interesting to hear about driving/traffic customs in other parts of the country.


Dec 22, 2011, 6:11 PM

Post #3 of 5 (6660 views)


Re: [RickS] Cultural Differences

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Now that you mention it and I think back to our last trip to San Miguel de Allende, the drivers were courteous. Since we drove from Morelia and Patzcuaro, it did strike us why they had the larger buses cruising SMA versus the "combis" that were the norm in Michoacan. With the narrow streets, we thought that "combis" would be a better solution for moving people around SMA.
Albuquerque, NM


Dec 22, 2011, 6:54 PM

Post #4 of 5 (6651 views)


Re: [rockydog85251] Cultural Differences

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In Chiapas some friends and I always argue about the worst drivers in Mexico. One of my friend is from Mexico City and he thinks the worst drivers are in Villahermosa, followed by Tuxtla and he puts Oaxaca as number 3- We think Oaxaca is number one on that list and there is a draw between Vera Cruz and Tabasco followed by Chiapas.
We usually stay in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca and the Teotitlan Oaxaca road is pure suicide. The city driving there is pretty awful too.


Dec 23, 2011, 3:34 AM

Post #5 of 5 (6619 views)


Re: [chinagringo] Cultural Differences

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In Pátzcuaro, the drivers tend to be courteous. In Morelia, be sure to look both ways before proceeding.

All generalities are suspect, including this one.

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