The highways of northern Baja California are basically the same as U.S. roads, but not so in central Mexico. I didn't notice this the last time, when I came this way to Mexico City, because I didn't sit in the front of the bus as I am this time. It's a two-lane highway, with dotted white lines on the sides, and a half-lane shoulder. Bicycle lanes, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

The way it seems to work is: when someone is coming up behind you going faster than you, you pull into the half-lane, straddling the white line (unless of course you have a narrow-enough wheelbase to pull all the way into it). The guy behind you passes, pulling halfway into the oncoming lane as he does so. If someone is in the oncoming lane, he is of course obligated to swerve into his own half-lane at a moment's notice! Gringos thinking about driving these roads would do well to take a bus first, sit in the front, and observe the choreography of this Mexican dance before attempting it for themselves. It's as strange in its way as the completely different method the Turks use for passing; at least in Istanbul, the only Turkish city I've ever visited.

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last updated 2013-01-10 21:02:39. served from tektonic