I live at the corner of an alley and a very busy one way street which my balcony over looks. This is the polar opposite of the bucolic lake front view I had in Washington. Yet I enjoy it almost as much. Mexican street life is very vibrant, colorful and yes noisy. But I find it exciting, varied, interesting and amusing.
On my one way street cars park on both sides of the street and no one, except some of us gringos, find it odd that it is perfectly OK to double park. And not just for a minute or two. They will double park and go in to a store to pick up a couple of items, or wait for someone they are picking up no matter how long it takes. Mean time the traffic slows and snakes their way past the double parker, with surprising skill. I have yet to see a car sideswiped. It amazes me. Some prefer to park across the entrance to alley instead of double parking. I would prefer they double park as this is when it gets noisy. It seems like as soon as the mouth to the alley is blocked one or more of the alley residents wants go some where or will be trying to return home and they lay on the horn until some one comes and moves the offending vehicle. But no cross words are ever exchanged, it’s just how it is done. If the car is one that is trying to return he may have the street blocked back with up to ten cars behind him all waiting. Sooner or later someone in the line up gets impatient and starts honking his horn also, but oddly enough it’s usually someone who has just pulled up to the back of the line that honks his displeasure about being held up.
Impromptu parties happen frequently on my street, sometimes its pedestrians fueled by the large beer drinks the store down the block sells. And conveniently enough for them there are a couple of concrete benches right across the street from me where they can sit, drink, laugh, and sing until the wee hours of the day. Last week a newer pick up truck parked across the street, opened up the doors, turned the music up and 5 or six of them had a lovely tailgate party right there in the middle of this block.
A parking violation is cause for the local policia to remove your rear license plate. In order to retrieve it you must go to the local station and pay the fine. If you don’t do that and get a second violation the front plate is removed and another fine is levied. Of course driving with no plates is a separate violation and of course it will open you up to much policia attention. Gotta love Mexico!
Signing off KO