I wanted to write a more culturally related, possibly lighthearted post for the next two weeks looking at our beloved home of El Salvador. Before arriving on our assignment, we were warned, and re-warned several times about the risks, i.e. notorious gangs, carjackings, murders…too much information really before arriving. But in all of this, nobody ever mentioned the greatest danger we would face…driving in El Salvador!!
Within the first month, I had successfully navigating the process..very difficult process of purchasing a vehicle. This involved, making calls to unknown sellers, getting to unknown locations, the visit to a mechanic, about 20 pages of documents from every previous owner of the van, then pages of single spaced legal contract for the purchase, the money exchange at the bank and finally a trip to CERTRACEN (our version of the DMV).
(I am not going to get into the first months visits to the mechanic…and breakdowns.)
So, if you have any doubt that driving in Southern California and Los Angeles traffic could actually be worse, here is proof. Waze is a free app for your smart phone which uses GPS and googlmaps, but adds in real time reports about traffic as other users are driving, or stopped, or reporting accidents, etc. (I highly recommend to get if you are going to be traveling to countries like El Salvador that don’t lean so much on street names or addresses) Below is a CNN Philippines report that through Waze report that shows El Salvador tops the list as one of the worst places to drive…
Next week we will look at the joys of redondels or retondas (roundabouts), what to do in case of an accident and how to make the switch from defensive to offensive driving…always with a smile.