Indicators and driver training

7 10 2007

There is quite a lot that can be said about the cars in Peru (like how they carry animals in the taxis and people in trucks), and probably will be in due course.

Special note must go to the indicators or flashers or blinkers or whatever you might call them. I have slowly gotten used to ignoring then completely. It is too difficult to work out quite what the driver intends to do just by the indicators.

For example, a flashing left indicator can mean:

  • I am turning left (the only usage common in developed countries, hence what I am used to – but the least frequently applied here);
  • I am turning right (god know how they came up with this piece of brilliance – but it’s true);
  • There is danger (ie cyclists, a parked car, a hole in the road, whatever) to the left of me up ahead;
  • There is danger to the right up ahead (most likely me as I turn right with the left indicator flashing);
  • You can overtake me on the left now, it’s safe (the definition of safe would not be quite what you might expect)
  • I have forgotten to tun off my left blinker,
  • or (and this is probably the most frequent) I have tried to turn on my hazard flashers (for any number of random reasons) but only the left blinker works.

Of course there are the same number of possibilities (which are identical) when the right is flashing.

The only real constant is the use of the horn. This means absolutely everything and anything. Seriously, anything. I think some of the time they use it gratuitously, just to be loud – with no need to attract attention.

We think we’ve discovered the major points of the cirriculum of the driver training school for Peruvian drivers, with roughly equal time given to each point:

  1. Here are the keys. Look they jingle.
  2. This is how you work the horn.
  3. This is how the radio works. Note that increasing the volume is easy, decreasing is frowned upon.
  4. There is the road. Go. Find a place to put your car and do it as fast as possible. Bonus points for making lots of noise.

Since we haven’t been hit (yet), this is probably a little harsh, but honestly some of the crazy stunts they pull make you wonder if they have any training at all.



2 responses

9 10 2007

All serious cyclists know, drugs are the answer. Your squeaky clean methods will come to no good. High altitude oedema, rheumatic fever, parasites that drill through your stomach. And you’ll never get to France to compete in the Tour’de Drug. So, the top of the Andes is cold. Well summer’s coming. Interesting, How do you plan to get past the Atacama desert? Bolivia will be underwater by then. Give it away, come climbing in Thailand December.
Though your activities now seem almost sane since speaking to another Perth inmate. The other M, you know her, tall fair. She and her Spanish boyfriend are cycling from Australia to Spain. This involves, 1 multiple choice, Burma or China and the Tibetan Plateau, 2 India, 3 Pakistan, and 4 the popular tourist destination of Iran, plus the rather pedestrian Turkey and the utterly boring Balkans. Well they’re pretty feisty and I give them good odds and best wishes. They’re gonna need a lot of mace.
anyway, halfway through Peru. Nice going.

12 10 2007

You may be right Richard. Perhaps I should start with the drugs. I have been drinking the odd cup of Mata de Coca, and the Cocaine plantations are so close…
I’m going around the Atacama. It’ll be summer by then. No thanks.
Australia to Spain? Sounds like a good next project. The choices are difficult, perhaps she’ll try a little of all of them? And use all the mace.

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