Tuesday, January 26, 2010

i'm a little piece of tin.

driving in the dominican republic is NOTHING like driving in the states. there are pot holes. there are dirt roads. there are traffic lights you obey, and traffic lights that turn off during the habitual brown-outs. there are motor bikes, scooters and bikers. there are men pedaling their wares - literally, pedaling on a bike, pushing a cart. there are buses, there are horses, donkeys, sometimes cows.

and there are these mean little things called "concho cars." "publicos". it's the dominican version of public transit. the ugliest, grossest, most beat up hoopty you can find. they slap on a route sticker and ta-da. transportation for the masses. income for the drivers.

and because they are the ghetto-est cars you can find, they defy all of the very few traffic laws that actually exist here. they turn right from the left lane and left from the right lane. they scream through red lights and slam on their breaks right in front of you to pick up passengers.

and the passengers.
four in the backseat, three in the front. and sometimes, sometimes if it's raining and the driver feels for you standing on the road, four in the front seat.

i've been scared of these cars since i started driving here. i give them the right of way even when they don't deserve it. because they don't care if you hit them. their shit is already messed up!

and let me say. i ran the stop sign. i admit it.

i ran that stop sign and ran right into the damn concho. because even though i was going 15 miles per hour and could stop. he couldn't. because in a commercial/residential area in the center of the city, he was going 50 miles per hour.

i called amalio, pulled up, checked on the kids and waited. the guy was nice enough. but i should have known there was something shady when they kept suggesting we just "settle this between ourselves and not involve the cops".

you know, because when we finally decided to go to the police station buddy had no insurance and no drivers liscence. a public transportation DRIVER people. welcome to the dominican republic. completely illegal. i can only imagine what would have happened if anyone was hurt in our little accident.

no worries. i don't have to pay for the damage i did to his car. and he'll be off the road for as long as it takes for him to get some insurance and a liscence. how do i know?

they impounded his car before we left!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Love your blog.

I just started this travel blog for women and I'm collecting photos from women travelers like you. Submit a photo of yourself in an interesting place in Dominican Republic and some tips for other women travelers who are going there, and we'll link back to your blog.

Visit our blog: www.pinkpangea.wordpress.com and get in touch at: pinkpangea@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you,