On the bus to work this morning, we were screaming down the highway at a fairly tranquil (by local standards) 150kph, when I was alarmed to notice that our bus driver was enjoying a rather delicious looking breakfast of rice, beans and scrambled eggs. He was holding a bowl in one hand and his spoon in the other. He was spooning-in his breakfast whilst controlling the bus with his two pinkie fingers, which were resting lightly on the wheel. What do you do?! It’s one of those situations where you can’t watch! My heart was in my mouth... but at the same time you can’t NOT watch!
A few minutes after I first noticed this we came to a sudden halt to pick up another passenger. We stopped for the necessary 8.5 seconds required to open and close the door, and then we were away, attempting lift-off. As far as I could see, the driver, took the money, handed out a ticket and gave change, without actually putting down his breakfast. He did, I hasten to add, stop eating. Not to do so, would have been rude.
Last week, I was staying with a friend in Cancun. One morning whilst on our way to work, he mentioned that this particular highway is one of the most infamous in Mexico.
“At least one person dies here every week,” he said, whilst driving a casual 50kph over the speed limit. He was about to continue, when he realised he hadn’t yet contacted the office for today’s schedule. He quickly sent his text. Then he added,
“Particularly this part! Very dangerous! Many crashes!”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked wryly.
“Because the road is too straight,” he said, “people just don’t pay attention. Can you pass my tacos?”
This afternoon, on the way home, we were overtaken by a single, smoking tyre.
Leonardo Da Poggibonsi
2 days ago