Tuk Tuking Around


A mild-mannered tuk tuk, or so it seems (photo by Lisa Braden)

My goal for the next three weeks or so is not to be killed by a tuk tuk. They´re cute, and most putter along reasonably, but there are some that are vicious little killing machines. And you never know which ones they are.

Simple, easy transport, right?

The streets are narrow, with many twists and turns. And there are no sidewalks.  You learn to sense the approach of vehicles from behind. This is a little easier while heading up hill, since none of the engines here have quite enough horsepower to gain any speed going in this direction. Watch out for the down bits, though. The drivers want to take advantage of gravity, so by the end of the run they´re flying, sometimes literally, with potholes and speed bumps in strategic places. On the tourist street there are blind turns every once in a while, designed to keep the tourist population under control. Yesterday there was an angry little swarm of the things in a face off on a one-way street (there is not an agreement over which way is the one way).

Chicken à la tuk tuk.

I took a tuk tuk to San Juan to check out the textiles there during my long lunch break. Usually I have two hours, but there was a big soccer match today (Madrid, Spain beat Lyon, France, btw) and my teacher requested to change our class time to accommodate the game. So I jumped in the tuk tuk, which needed to make a detour through the central part of town to get on the main road. A large delivery truck was parked at one main intersection, which encouraged a game of chicken amongst the tuk tuk drivers. My guy was not very good, so we had to wait an additional three seconds to get past the truck. Everything is slow here, relaxed and happy, except for those precious seconds saved by beating the other guy around an obstacle.

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About ThesePartsUnknown

I write, I travel, I make art.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Fear, Guatemala, Ordinary Life, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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