Absurdities exist in all cities. There are interesting customs and laws that will amuse and boggle my mind, wherever I go. In Cairo, whole communities live and work inside the city's largest cemetery (they call it the 'City of the Dead'). In Athens, taxi drivers can reject your request for a ride and will only take you if it's convenient for them (they also answer 'yes' with a shake of the head and 'no' with a nod). And in many places on mainland China, coughing up a lung and spitting out a half cup’s equivalent of phlegm while walking down the street is completely normal.
Well, in Mar del Plata, playing chicken with your life at every unmarked intersection is the way to go. It's a different kind of thrill sport. Traffic in the world's major cities can often be deemed crazy but here, I find it ridiculous! Only major boulevards have traffic lights and apparently there is no budget or patience or 'need' for STOP signs. All roads are one-way and you race across them as quickly as you please while praying to God that cars traveling on perpendicular roads are more cautious than you.
You yield to oncoming traffic in the purest sense of the term: you yield to ONCOMING traffic! You know that car racing towards you as you escape the intersection? Yes, THAT CAR! Well, don't worry! Somehow in the organized chaos of unorganized chaos, you will miss each other by a hair and in half a second you'll be safely on the other side. Riiiigggghhttt.
This 'suerte' based system of driving is nerve wracking enough during the day, but let me tell you, do not fret, because in the evenings, it gets better! In addition to trying to look around the corner to see if oncoming traffic is driving fast or slow, you hug the far side of the one way road, flash your lights, and honk your horn. This is for safety. SAFETY! Apparently the commotion will alert others that YES, I AM COMING TO THE INTERSECTION at the same time that you are, and YES slow down a little so that we don't ALL DIE!
Charming, isn't it? I love small towns.
[Note: And DJ, you are not coming down here for a visit. And if you do, you are not allowed to drive. Ever. Love, Ate]