Who Follows Signs Anyway?

One of the things we love about Mexico is the more relaxed and fluid attitude about almost everything.  Except for driving, things just move slower here and matter less.  Manana is real.  Sometimes that can drive us crazy.  Our insurance agent told me three times in the past 2 weeks that she will call me back in 5 minutes.  I am still waiting – and I suspect she had absolutely no intention of calling me back.  People don’t mean what they say and rules are meant to be ignored.  The up side is that we can get away with a lot and we feel a kind of freedom that you won’t find in Canada.  On Friday we decided to take our golf cart into Centro to find a burger, which meant going the wrong way down the highway lateral for a block.  Meh.  No one cared and a woman on a motorcycle slowed to let us pass with a big smile.  We then drove right through the middle of the market stalls yelling “permiso”  so that vendors would pick up their chairs and move out of our way.  They just smiled and waved us through.  I can’t even count how many traffic rules we broke, but the burger made it worth it.

The trick is to figure out when ‘they’ mean it – we have been given tickets for not wearing a seat belt (fair), for going through a yellow light (come onnnn), for driving too slow (what?) and for speeding (we weren’t – and the electronic speed sign RIGHT BESIDE US proved it).

Here are some signs around our neighborhood that don’t seem too effective:

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No Littering – or you will be punished

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No Parking – Respect my space and I’ll respect your car

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No Tenting sign – right beside the tent

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No Passing – on the double solid yellow line.

These photos below come from videos I took of stop signs a block from my house – neither of these cars even slowed down.  I don’t even know what that sign on the right is for – it is in the middle of a block and there is not a crossroad there at all.

And these aren’t the only unheeded stop signs in the Bay.  Last year approximately 20-30 new stop signs were installed in Nuevo Vallarta – I have never seen anyone stop yet.

Of course some ‘signs’ are useful for finding what you are looking for since addresses are completely useless here.  This church used what was handy to point the way!

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Of course, directions to important places are important!

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Emergency signs don’t always translate well:

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Only porpoises can use the phone?

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Warning at the Zoo…. “Hello Giraffe, please meet my hand….”

But you don’t always need language to get the message:

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No flip flops for construction workers on this site

Warning signs are always good but unfortunately this DANGER: Do Not Use sign was only at one end of this sketchy bridge and we saw it after we had crossed over.

And finally, this sign is just an irony I laugh at every day.  One of the main reasons we moved was to get away from Canadian winters.  Well now I live on Calle Invierno:   Winter St.  What are the odds?

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About Karen moves to Mexico

I am a Canadian woman - a mom and wife and Non Profit Executive - who is ready for a new adventure living in Mexico. My husband and I are not ready to retire but we are ready to embark on a journey of change and growth and service in a country far from home. This is my story of what it's like to prepare for the craziest move of my life!
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