Thursday, July 10, 2008

¡Quesqualmente drivers!

I would just like to share the story of how we got to tour the back roads of San Jose today. But first, I just want to share that Renee was meowed at by a Costa Rican man at breakfast this morning. She sort of cut in line to get coffee and he was standing by the toaster waiting, and after she said "excuse me," he started meowing... It was every bit as creepy as it sounds.

Michael couldn't drive us today for some reason, so he sent Manuel (another driver) to get us this morning. We had mixed feelings about Manuel already, but little did we know he was possibly going to be our end. Not intentionally, but with his terrible, terrible driving.

We knew we might be in trouble when we saw the van that pulled up - a 14-seater at most. We then found out that Alvaro wasn't going to be able to come pick up the guys who were going to finish the electrical work at 25 de julio, which meant they were going to have to ride with us (which makes 15 people), with their huge rubbermaid container of tools and the suitcase of clothes we were bringing to Alvaro to give to a family who needs them. So, we sucked it up and piled in - Mitch sat on top of the rubbermaid container, and we made to boys sit up front with Manuel because the girls are all a little creeped out by him. (They call old men like that viejos verdes here - meowing man is another good example.)

We got to 25 de julio alright, but things took a different turn when he left a different way that Michael normally does. Not that big a deal, he probably knows where he's going, right? Except he then turned down a road that dead ends at the highway, where you are apparently allowed (and expected) to just make a right turn onto the highway where all the other cars are going like 55 mph. From there, we got to a roundabout that we went the entire way around to turn back onto the highway going the other direction. Okay, we thought, he just chose to turn around a different and much more complicated way...

We proceeded to turn down like 4 streets on the left that were never the right street, and always led to us having to make a big U of left turns back to the highway. Once, he tried to turn right into a dead end. There are signs that warn you about that kind of thing here, too... When we finally did get back to the highway, he chose to make a left across four lanes of traffic where the sign clearly stated that was not allowed. Emily turned to me and said, "This is it." And for sure, we all thought she was right. And yet, the large bus coming straight for us stopped for no apparent reason to let us make our illegal turn. By the grace of God!

Eventually we got to the east side of the city which was the general area where we needed to be, and after a confusing conversation with a man at a bus stop, we made it to the church. I guess we can't expect too much from a country where stop signs and red lights are optional. There are fewer accidents than you would think though.

Hasta luego


Jenny Meyer said...

I remember that stuff! it is always like that there. :) 'optional' lights & signs-no elbows out the window cause they might get clipped...yet by the grace of God-there are less accidents than here! So glad He protected you!

Also-just to make you laugh-we fit 24 people in a 12 person van last year-no joke! We went from Este to the hotel where you are staying. I've never seen anything like it. :)

D-Renn said...

Ahhhh, I love driving in foreign countries, where all of the traffic laws are optional and suggestions at best. You don't know what taking your life into your own hands feels like until you have careened down a Costa Rican or Mexican road amidst a sea of equally insane lunatics behind their respective wheels. Good luck, God bless and safe travels!

Praying for your safe return,

Jason Frantz said...

Its quesquElmente... not quesquAlmente