Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, June 19, 2009

El Estacionamientos Diabólicos

The Mysteries Of Living In Houston

I'll have to remember to ask the Banana Republican about the evils of parking lots down in Latin America, and how they got that way.

They must be horrifically dangerous places. I can tell this by the habits of the Hispanics that I see entering and leaving them.

OK, I might be doing a bit of racial profiling by saying that, but when 98% of the vehicles in question have either the local Hispanic radio station bumper sticker, or a huge decal of a Hispanic surname on the rear window, I'm gonna take a flyer and guess that the driver speaks Spanish as their native language!

OK, about these dangerous parking lots...

When driving in Houston, first you have to understand that the use of turn signals is largely regarded as an optional activity. Therefore, you're always on the lookout for the car in front of you to hit the brakes no more than 10 yards before their scheduled turn. This is a cross-cultural trait, one of the downsides of a melting pot society...

Next, when entering a parking lot from the adjacent street, almost without fail, the Hispanic driver will either come to a complete halt, or put the gearshift in Granny Low before slowly creeping into the parking lot, no doubt on alert for guerillas and the random wandering junta.

When leaving the parking lot, the opposite is true. The parking lot must be so frightening and/or traumatic that exiting cars do not brake at the lot edge and wait for a clear spot in traffic, but instead barrel out into traffic at a high rate of speed, often smoking their tires in their zeal to leave the parking lot behind.

Pity the poor driver that had the right-of-way on the thoroughfare. "Right-Of-Way" is one of those terms like "Legal immigration procedures", "self-funded medical insurance" and "Quit impregnating 13-year-old girls" that just doesn't seem to translate into Spanish.

Now, don't get me wrong, gringos are culpable of some pretty blatant vehicular assholery, but it mostly manifests as tailgating and driving at twice the speed limit on the access roads...