Of course, to get into an accident here as a foreigner, you are almost guaranteed to be found the guilty party and you better have your insurance in order. No matter if the other driver has none. No matter if they were driving 60 km/h over the speed limit and passing on the right! Magically, any witnesses to the event will have a change of perspective and side with the local person. Sad, but true.Each time that I return from town unscathed by accident or breakdown (vehicular and emotional), I breathe a sigh of relief and try to figure out how long I can hold out before I’ll have to return once again to the craziness that is town. Wish me luck or as they say here Que le vaya bien (may your trip go well).
Today the rather arduous trip to town must be made to buy food, drinking water and gasoline for my truck, to have laundry done, drop off a surfboard for repairs and, if I am lucky, my friend Sunday can squeeze me in for a massage and chiropractic adjustments. The trip is arduous because it takes 2.5 to 3 hours to get to the temple of CostCo, where soy milk, pine nuts, walnuts, good wine and cheese can be purchased. It is arduous as well because the first half of the trip is over a very rough, pot-holed, windy and washboard-riddled road. If I am lucky, the grader will have passed over it recently, but in light of recent months’ performance, this seems very unlikely. Since the new delegado (mayor) took his seat, the roads to the East Cape have been woefully neglected. If I did not need to go to CostCo, I could get all my groceries in San Jose, but the savings and selection at CostCo really are unbeatable. I also need to buy paint this trip, so I will go all the way into Cabo San Lucas to my friend Dionicio’s paint store and get his assistance with matching some colors. All in all it bodes to be a very full day. If I time it just right, I’ll have lunch at Cynthia’s, a lovely restaurant with vegetarian selections made from organic vegetables in a beautiful courtyard. The trip to town is approached with some trepidation. There is always the chance of a flat tire. Before moving here I had not had one single flat tire in my entire life. Since arriving it has become a serious concern and driving is done with this in mind. There is also the chance of a break down for other reasons – this is particularly unsettling because should this happen I will be alone and stuck on the road and in need of assistance where there is no cell phone service. At one time I would have had to wait very long to see someone on the Palo Escopeta Road, but these days there is a rather constant flow of traffic. Then there is the concern once arriving in town of an accident. It is unfortunate that the drivers in this part of the world are terribly inadequate and drive like they are trying to get a dying man to the doctor or a priest. This may have something to do with the fact that in order to get a driver’s license here all you have to do is answer a series of questions about which governmental department is responsible for which aspects of road maintenance and safety and presto! you’ve got your license (after paying the applicable fee and having your blood type determined). I was quite amazed when I realized that there was not one question on the exam about how to drive. And then an internal light flipped on and I understood the cause of the resulting roadway insanity.