Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lima Traffic - Three Eyecatchers

Being from the United States, I, like my fellow Americans, tend to take our way of life for granted. Living near Silicon Valley and the state capital, "Bay Area driver" is one of my frequent curse words.

But Lima is a very different story. I arrived early Monday morning, and my only "tourist time" was a photo travelogue-by-taxi-cab as I was driven from the airport to my office.

The first contrast with SF or SMF airports is the traffic. The Lima airport is a very small international airport. Taxis are not allowed to actually drive in front of the airport. They stand out front of the exit with a little sign that has your name on it. Once they find you, you have to walk across a large parking lot to where the taxi cab was parked.

Unlike Bay Area and Sacramento traffic, surface traffic in Lima is always thick, morning and night. But not to worry, every time you stop at a traffic light, a friendly vendor walks up and down the streets offering to sell you newspapers, chocolate, or pastries .

The third thing that caught my eye was the minivan . Not only was it battered and dented, but in a van the size of a 2001 Honda Odyssey I counted 5 rows of seats behind the driver, with 3-4 people in each row. Do the math: there were 23 Limans in the amount of space 7 Americans expect to sit in California.

Riding a taxi cab in Lima is a very different experience from driving California.

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