méxico: el día dos
bound for morelia

"Okay, I'm turning around, going all the way back to
the beginning of this city, and starting over." -k.
casa  mapa  fotos  escríbanos    el giftshoppo!
In Hot Water:
Roads In: 3
Roads Through: 1500
Roads Out: 3
We Travelled: All of Them

Lesson Learned: Best to leave "as the crow flies" to the crow. Take the ring road.

You Cannot Escape Them!
What do Pinto Beans and Pemex Have In Common?
Both give you gas in Mexico! There's only one gas company (the fuel kind) in Mexico, Pemex, and it's run by the government. A little like the LCBO in Ontario. They're very friendly and helpful, and they'd be more than happy to llene el tanco for you, at least within 10 pesos of the nearest hundred peso denomination (just make sure they set the pump to zero).

So, wary travellers, you needn't worry about getting bad gas here. Unless of course you pop inside for a burrito while getting a fillup.
Five Words We Learned Today:
Rebasar--To pass


Can You Tell Me How To Get...
Enero 30 - It's pretty incredible that we've been able to get as far as we have in Mexico on good looks alone.

Seriously. Everywhere we go, we just smile and point, and people seem to understand what we're getting at: food, bathroom, gas, highway directions. True, knowing Spanish, or at least a small portion of it, might have been a keen asset to have coming into the country, but we don't think that far ahead.

Occasionally we find ourselves in a situation where one simple word would solve any confusion. Words like "south", or "left", or the number "fifteen", for example.

Every so often, I see a sign or hear a word that triggers a childhood memory. A word like "abierto". Abierto, abierto... where do I know that from? Then a gruff voice in my mind says "cerado!"

Abiertoooo... Cerado!
Abierto? Cerado!
Abierto! Cerado!

The answer arrives in the mental image of a cartoon box: open... closed. It's then that I come to the realization that any Spanish I knew before yesterday was learned from Sesame Street.

Today's Lesson...
Rules of the Road
1. Go as fast as you like. The speed limit is only a suggestion.
2. Pass whomever you like, whenever you like. Pass on a double line on a cliff between a bus and a chicken truck. They'll make room.
3. If you're behind a bus or chicken truck on a twisty road, and they put their left signal on, they're telling you it's safe to pass.
4. Wave "thank you" with the back of your hand, not the front. I don't know what the front means, but they don't like it.
5. Slow down, and I mean slow down, for "topes" and "vibradores". Trust me.

That's it! Thanks to Luis and Maria, owners of the Fix-it Shop next to Hooper's Store, I was given a basic education in Spanish. As long as the price of anything isn't over ten, I wouldn't have any problems. Ocho pesos? No problemo. Tresa pesos? What the hell is "tresa"? I'll just hand over a hundred and hope she has change.

So what have I learned since? We can start with the road signs. No tire basura means "Don't throw trash". A fine message in theory, though widely ignored. Transito Lento, Carril Derecho was another easy one to figure out: "Slower traffic, Right lane". The word Carril gave me enough to transfer knowledge to Carril Izquierdo Solo Para Rebasar, which I assume is "Left lane only for passing". Not bad for two days, eh?

Incidentally, how did a simple word like "left" end up being "izquierdo" in another language? Everywhere else it's simple... left/right, gauche/droite, links/recht... izquierdo/derecho? Loco.

That sign at the top, though: No deje piedras sobre el pavimento. They gave me nothing to start from, except maybe "pavement". My best guess was "don't walk on the pavement", getting walk from pied, the French word for feet. It seemed like good advice, not to walk on the road, considering the driving habits here.

But no. I learned later that it meant "Don't leave your stones on the road". Apparently, when a car breaks down around here, and they want to alert you of its presense in a lane of traffic, they'll place large, sharp, tire-popping, chassis-denting stones in that lane, so you'll have the good sense to change in time. All they ask is that when you've fixed your car, you go back and remove the stones. A reasonable request.

Thinking back, I'm not sure I remember Sesame Street teaching more Spanish than the basic one-to-ten, and the abierto/cerado sketch. They sure as heck didn't teach left and right; I'm sure I would have remembered hearing Maria say "izquierdo". In fact, a lot of the stuff we've been running into, like the road signs, don't have any words that come close to anything I learned on Sesame Street. Although, I suppose the show wasn't intended for those of the consenting age to drive a motor vehicle.

city after city...




más fotos en el archivo...

Nuestro Sitio Ahora

Mañana: Morelia!

see the full map...

El Tiempo:
Cough Cough

Las Estadísticas
Federale Stops:4

Shoulda taken:8hrs
Actually took:12hrs

Mis Padres

We made it! We pulled into the Cinepolis 16 parking lot after dark, met my parents under the Elektra sign, and that was that. No more night driving for me!

Hotel Room
Kevin:Apple Oatmeal
Aimee:Maple Oatmeal
On the Road
K's Order:Pemex Burrito
A's Order:Pemex Burrito, Rice
Cuenta:10 pesos

Jésus Romero Flores #115
All:Seafood Jambalaya in Tortillas

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Brought to you by the letters F, U.