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  1. #1
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    Default Almost Killed Three Dominicans Sunday Night

    We were going back to La Hamaca de Dios (Jarabacoa-"God is everywhere, but he sleeps in Jarabacoa") from Santiago Sunday evening around 9pm. We were going maybe 30-35mph in a driving rain on the very dark Autopista somewhere between the airport and the toll booth. Windshield wipers were going like hell, and I was paying serious attention to the road ahead. It was difficult to see, and I had the fog lights on driving in the left lane. Fortunately, there were very few other cars around, and I was not driving too fast for the conditions.

    Appearing suddenly, maybe 50 feet in front of me is "something" I was overtaking fast, an indescript object moving slowly. I slowed down in a near panic, and got maybe 10 feet from "it": a black pasola, no lights on of any kind, with three people on it, all dressed in black, nothing reflective, right square in the middle of the left lane, doing maybe 10mph...

    Morons. I would have killed all three, period. They were lucky I was driving and not some truck driver or Dominican SUV uber-pilot doing 60. As I passed, they didn't even look over. They were oblivious.

    Darwin at work. They each used a life that night, and didn't even know it.

    I know see why statistically, driving a moto or pasola in this country is so dangerous.

  2. #2
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    congratulations on having the good sense and the great luck to avoid that mess.

    When I used to go to Bonao three times a week to teach at our extension there. we would have a pool: Everyone put in RD$5.00 and a number. The number would be our guess at how many motores we would pass with no lights.... One night the winning number was 78!!

    My only really serious accident here was with a motor with no lights. It won't happen again...at least not with that driver!



    HB

  3. #3
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    The first 2-3 times I visited the DR in the late 1980s, we got around on public transport or in a friend's car, so I didn't fully appreciate the dangers of driving in the DR. Then we decided to rent a car during our next visit, so that we could get around easier and more readily go to places outside SD.

    What a nightmare, especially at night! No street lights because of blackouts. Unmarked construction pits in the street everywhere. Intersections with no working traffic light, so crossing was a game of chicken. Chatarra conchos and motoconchos traveling without lights. People and pets walking the streets, sometimes in dark clothes, or crossing the street, heedless of traffic.

    Nerve racking, to say the least.

    I ended that trip swearing never to drive on another DR trip. I did, though. And in fact drove most days of my four years living there! But it remained very nerve-racking. Sometimes my wife would come home from work shaking -- and this is someone who learned to drive in NYC! We had many, close calls -- too many. Thank god nothing more!

  4. #4
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    Tell me about - talk about stupidity.

    It reminds me of a time a good friend told me he encountered someone under similar circumstances coming back from Moca and he slammed on the brakes but actually just bumped the guy with the bubmer square on the rear tire.. My friend, the eternal comic, pulled along side the guy and rolled down the windo and sais, "se le prendio"(did that start the motor for you)? followed by a few dichos, hahahha.

    I wouldn't hazard to say the majority of these guys are shipfaced drunk.

  5. #5
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    I remember a couple of years ago driving in the capital at night during the numerous black outs, no traffic lights and conchos all over the place weaving in and out of traffic. I thought I was definitely going to run one of those guys over! Many of those pasolas can't even reach highway speeds and these guys will ride it drunk, at night, in the rain, with passengers and no lights, Jeeshhh. Vaya con dios!!

  6. #6
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    HB, you mean the driver is six feets under? Sh*t happens.
    Zeus.

  7. #7
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    It's stupidity which kills most people around here... other's will call it natural selection...
    Yet, I think that what would help, was that the police would recognize that there IS some qualtos to be made from picking up all vehicles who have no lights and put their drivers in a cell WITHOUT ANY LIGHT over the nite... so they can bump into each other all nite trying to sort out where to pee and where to sleep. MAYBE, a few of them would get the message then.

    Obviously, there will always be those who think that because they're poor they should be dealt with with more fur gloves.... pero amigos mios, conducir es un privilegio no un derecho!

    Most of these hotheaded mueltoahoritas only live by the grace of those who play stunt drivers trying to evade them. But they think THEY are cool... until one day, they're cold.


    ... J-D.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Tell me about - talk about stupidity.

    It reminds me of a time a good friend told me he encountered someone under similar circumstances coming back from Moca and he slammed on the brakes but actually just bumped the guy with the bubmer square on the rear tire.. My friend, the eternal comic, pulled along side the guy and rolled down the windo and sais, "se le prendio"(did that start the motor for you)? followed by a few dichos, hahahha.

    I wouldn't hazard to say the majority of these guys are shipfaced drunk.
    I can just hear him saying: Hijos de su mald*** Mad**! LOL!!!
    The more nerve racking the situation, the most severe the Dichos! LOL!!!
    One Dominican at a time please!


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J D Sauser View Post
    It's stupidity which kills most people around here... other's will call it natural selection...
    Yet, I think that what would help, was that the police would recognize that there IS some qualtos to be made from picking up all vehicles who have no lights and put their drivers in a cell WITHOUT ANY LIGHT over the nite... so they can bump into each other all nite trying to sort out where to pee and where to sleep. MAYBE, a few of them would get the message then.

    Obviously, there will always be those who think that because they're poor they should be dealt with with more fur gloves.... pero amigos mios, conducir es un privilegio no un derecho!

    Most of these hotheaded mueltoahoritas only live by the grace of those who play stunt drivers trying to evade them. But they think THEY are cool... until one day, they're cold.


    ... J-D.
    Don't forget that they serve a crucial role of service for our medical students at regional hospitals, to both the morgue and "departamento de mentiole' y curitas para motoristas". I think that the "departamento de desabolladura y pintura de conductores de motor" no longer provides ferrer...
    One Dominican at a time please!


  10. #10
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    Default It'll Catch Up

    Driving at any time, especially at night, is, for me, the most dangerous activity we do. Forget the tigres, los delicuentes, the bars on the windows, the dogs, the razor wire, the alarms, cameras, watchees, whatever. The numbers are bound to catch up with us. Fortunately I've only smacked a few mirrors and scratched a few vehicles, dented the bumpers. How close is that. I never stop. Sort it out in the morning, or whenever.
    "Mira, General, desculpe las molestia, pero recuerdas cuando nos encontramos en la cena el otro dia? ............." !

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