roatáners have 9 lives

living in italy we always used to talk about how anyone on two wheels must have nerves of steel.  well, if that’s the case then roatán cyclers and pedestrians are nerves of pure lonsdaleite.

firstly, roads on roatán are, to say the least, sub-par.  pot holes and speed bumps (which are quite ingenious) seem to make very little difference, however, to the numbered white cabs.  from what i’ve been told, to get a drivers license in honduras one must only be able to prove they can see and then pay the fees.  and i’m sure that if you know the right people even that’s negotiable.  from what i can tell, taxi drivers genuinely do not care if those sharing the road live or die.  in fact, by the time you’ve stepped in and closed the door they’re already thinking about the next person they’ll be picking up after they get you to your destination.

the ironic thing is that a honk here is nothing but a friendly hello.  at worst it’s only an easy way to say, “hey, just in case you didn’t see me, i’m right here”.  i suppose this is a good thing because a sound that could indicate that a driver is frustrated, someone is in their way, or that they’d like to point out someone’s tactical errors in their driving…well…i don’t think we’d be able to hear ourselves think over all the noise.  there don’t seem to be what one might call “rules” of the road – probably something more akin to suggestions.

I only live half a mile from the town where i the pubs and fruit trucks are located (aka everything on the island except the good beaches), but you couldn’t pay me any amount of money to walk those 2640 feet.  between the yelps of honduran men and the cars swerving, passing, honking, and avoiding slaying walkers by mere inches…  well… i think you might need a flashing star from the mario brothers themselves.  yet, every mile of roadside is speckled with walkers, bikers, and people just gaily standing on the edge chatting to their neighbor: baby in hand, kids running around without a care in the world.  and i assure you – they’re not shy about taking up half the road themselves!

if i ever move to honduras and have kids, they’re getting shock collars; and i’m installing the underground wires at least a half a mile from anything that could be heralding a white cabbie screaming around the nearest bend at 60mph…inevitably on the wrong side of the road.

truly, it’s a wonder there are any survivors on the island at all.  i’m convinced: they all have nine lives.


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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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