We all know we have to be defensive while driving a car. Here in México even more so, because traffic laws, stop signs (big as houses on some corners), roundabouts, stoplights, etc, are just 'suggestions' in the eyes of the local driver. Also there are a lot of Chilangos in town (people who live in Mexico City where driving is the craziest I have ever experienced, including Bali - no rules at all - and driving in Australia with the steering wheel on the other side of the car, and driving on the other side of the road). They drive what to us appear to be narco cars ($$$$$$Mexico City$$$$$), although I am not accusing anyone of being a narco....ok, let's say they all look like CSI's in their Hummers and Giant Towncars. Lastly, I don't think they give driving lessons to anyone in Mexico. If they can read the book (which is in pictures for those who are analphabetic), they get a license. Scary.
But enough of white knuckle driving ranting, let's talk about walking. Last week I had to go to centro for some errands. I didn't drive, it's 12 blocks. It would take me longer to get through traffic and find a parking lot than it takes to walk it. Plus I like to work up a good sweat. Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, guess I am a mad dog. The streets are loaded with pedestrians, with sidewalk sellers leaving very little sidewalk to walk on, bus stops with people lined up down the block. People strolling along slowly, people hustling to get somewhere, people blocking the narrow sidewalks chatting, and buses jumping curbs trying to make tight turns. I walk very defensively, watching the pace of those in front of me, keeping an eye out for errant buses, and the tricky part is you also have to look down a lot to avoid potholes in the sidewalks.
I am going to make an embarrassing confession here. I like to watch Top Model. Here we get America's, Brazil's, and Mexico's. I have no idea why....other than when I was Jean Benet Ramsey's age my goal was to be Miss America (talk about misguided goals). Thing is, I learn a lot from that show. I could give a shit about the fashion industry. But I love photography, and what they do is so creative. Anyhow, that's not important. What I have learned from those shows and taken to the streets is creative walking. I am a fast walker. I have a hard time slowing down. My goal is to get from Point A to Point B, period. Not a window shopper. I have used many methods I learned about walking a runway and having to share the runway with another 'model'. I am able to get by the folks lingering and walking waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too slow for me. In fact, I almost feel like it is an exercise in courteous runway walking to walk in centro. The only thing I use the shop windows for is to check my posture. It hurts my back to see people slump.
One last thing. When I first started visiting Mexico in the 70s, I was bothered by the vendors hassling me to buy stuff. Now I realize that they are hawking because it is their job. I have found that a simple smile and no gracias will get them off your back, not offend them, and not work up my ire.
Perhaps you read ire in my blog today. It's stress. Nothing new. Have a good day.