i was coasting along in the mini-van today, kids all snuggled safely in their carseats, rocking out to something on the radio. then, i realized i was like falling asleep. not dangerous falling asleep, don't get me wrong. but, it was like i didn't even need to pay attention to what was going on. what?
when we first got to the states three weeks ago, i stopped at every single stop sign and waited. to make sure that nobody was going to blow their stop sign and hit me. and i hesitated at every new green light, just in case someone didn't accelerate to beat the yellow. i was aggressive and defensive.
but, in philadelphia so many people follow the rules. almost all of them. if there's a stop sign, they stop. a yellow light? slow down. and i think this is why americans have such a hard time adapting to driving in developing countries.
it's not that there aren't any rules, it's just that there are so many rule-breakers. so, yes, in santiago, we have stop signs but sometimes they seem almost optional. and there are certain traffic lights that are more like a precautionary warning.
once i got used to it, i felt safer driving than i do in philly. why? because i'm alert and on the ball. all.of.the.time. i can't be day dreaming at the wheel because who knows what that guy next to me is going to try to do next. i don't talk on the phone or rock out to my music. (besides, it's way easier to rock out to hip hop or rock than it is to rock out to merengue... that's more like hip wigglin' music).
so, on my way to the store to pick up a cheapy backpack for our travels (we're headed home tomorrow), i felt like a passive driver. and ironically i didn't feel safer driving with all of the rules and regulations of the road.
i think it's a sign that i'm ready to head back to the sun and warmth. and sometimes chaos.
we leave philly at noon and arrive in santiago around 830 tomorrow night. luckily i'm not hitting the ground running (i originally thought we were leaving thursday) and work doesn't start until friday morning (classes on monday). i'll probably be a.w.o.l. from the blog for a week or so, miss me!