تاكسي! و الشوارع و السيارات Taxis and cars and roads

Wow, taxis are a necessary evil. First things first, taxis find their way by landmarks. Do not tell them street names at all. They will not know any. Even if it is a major street, they don’t pay attention. I’ve heard that part of the reason is that the streets are new and renamed. The bigger reason,  I think, is that they just don’t direct themselves the way we do. So never, ever tell a taxi a street name. They may know it, but it really enables a bad habit that you will need to quit very soon. I suggest that you look very carefully at where you need to go and where you live in order to give directions by landmarks. Use stores, banks, hotels, hospitals, anything that you think will stand out.

You will be amazed by cars here. Really, it’s fascinating. After three days here, I was in awe yesterday at a car that was driving in its lane. The streets here have very little regulation. I think it’s pretty standard to not have lanes marked, and instead to view the street as a place where you can drive pretty much anywhere but the wrong side…except sometimes it’s ok to do that too. U-turns are common and there are even places in the street marked for u-turns. People sometimes stop in the middle of the street to do stuff. People honk horns like it’s the cool thing to do. In America, it’s rare to hear someone honk their horn. Here, it’s weird when someone is not honking their horn. People honk their horns at bad driving, to pedestrians crossing the street to alert them a car is coming, to celebrate, and because they’re bored.