Sunday, September 18, 2011
On the road
Just for the fun of it, I made a list today of what I encountered on the road between Suchitoto and San Martin, the nearest town. In the 18 miles of this pretty good two-lane highway I encountered:
kids, families, men, men on horseback, women, women carrying large bundles on their heads, people gathered at bus stops, people sitting on the edge of the road (this last I find unnerving since there's no shoulder, but it makes a good seat when the ground slopes away from the road)
dogs, chickens, goats, horses, oxen, cattle (I sometimes see iguanas, but none today), all of them occasionally moved to cross the road without reference to my car coming down it
cars, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, micro-buses, trucks carrying people, road work machinery, moto-taxis (the 3-wheel vehicles called 'tuk-tuks' in Guatemala)
a man with a vending cart - he seemed to be selling cold drinks of some kind
many houses, many milpas (corn and bean fields), cattle fields, orchards, several pupuserias (roadside eatery selling pupusas, the Salvadoran comfort food), a collection of small brick-making businesses, Catholic and Evangelical churches
many tumulos (traffic-slowing bumps - whatever do we call them in English? - which in El Salvador are essentially a pipe half buried in the roadway, and you'd better slow waaaay down or your shocks will be shocked.)
many baches - aka potholes. They multiply with the rainy season and may get fixed when the dry weather comes.
It's crowded, it's lively, and driving it is always an adventure. I sometimes have to pull off the highway in the U.S. because I get drowsy. Not here.