Why Don't Mexicans Use Their Car Horns?
NOTE: We have been traveling about Mexico for the past four weeks which might explaing the lack of posts here of late.
This morning while we were having a cappuccino in a café at the edge of Independence Square we were startled by the sounds of horns blaring just 20 feet away on the massive four lane circle that surrounds the square. It was irritating. Annoying. Yes it was around 8:30 Monday morning and traffic was heavy and in DC or any other American city for that matter, such an assault on the senses would be expected. But here in Mexico City it was a complete surprise. Mexicanos don’t use their car horns very much. In fact I don’t recall a single time when I heard one prior to this morning. I’m sure there was one – or perhaps many – before but the fact that we were irritated by the noise attests to the lack of such intrusions we’ve found throughout Mexico. I mean, the city has 8 million people but you just don’t hear that many blaring horns here.
|Palacio del Belle Artes|
Which observation only comports with another fact we’ve discovered. The Mexican people seem to be much more civilized – certainly in their dealings with their fellow human beings in public - than their American and Indian peers. Here’s what I mean. We are staying at a lovely boutique hotel (cheap, nonetheless) on a small side street, Calle Jesus Teran to be exact, just off the Plaza de la Republica at the edge of Cuidad Mexico’s historic district. In fact last night we walked back to our hotel after having dinner at a Trip Advisor recommended restaurant (it was way overrated) just a few blocks from the humongous Plaza de la Revolucion near the magnificent Placaio del Belles Artes.
Whether it’s because of the approaching Halloween (Day of the Dead) or just life as usual in Mexico, there were literally tens of thousands of people out in the streets and in all the squares and parks between the Revolution Plaza and our hotel – a distance of over a mile. There were break dancers, bands, singers, a Hare Krishna group doing its thing, seemingly a million venders of tacos, fruit, juices, dolls, dresses, shirts, hats, sombreros and God knows what else. It was crowded and it was noisy. But noisy in a good sense – people just out having fun and enjoying the late evening.
But the remarkable thing was that, not only here in Mexico City, but every place we’ve been in Mexico has had such crowds and street theater and never once have we witnessed a single fight, an single argument, a brawl, folks throwing beer bottles at one another or just tossing crap into the crowd as you might find back in the US of A. I cannot imagine any crowd back home that numbered more than a few hundred people where at least one shoving match or heated exchange wouldn’t take place. But not here. Not anywhere in Mexico.
What accounts for this extraordinary civility and politeness of the Mexican people? I have no idea. Is it genetic? Maybe, because I cannot think of how else so many people in one place could otherwise be so damned accommodating of one another. Or could it be the result of their Mayan roots? Certainly not the Spanish hereditary lineage if Barcelona or Madrid is any indication. Whatever – it is a revelation and a very satisfying one. Americanos could well take a lesson. We certainly need to start treating each other – at least in public – with a great deal more kindness and consideration.
Well maybe after next week’s elections we will. But I doubt it.