First in the series covering the adventures I’ve had in Peru this last month!
When we first arrived at the Lima airport we, being foreign looking folks, got swarmed by people. “Taxi?” “Quieren un taxi?” “Cheapest price!” From the very first hour I set foot in Peru, up to the last one before I left, I believe our most spoken words were “no” and “gracias”. Not that we didn’t need a taxi, but we already had one specific company in mind, recommended to us by our hostel.
After ten minutes of broken Spanish and trying to explain and confirm that we need to drop by an ATM first to get our first handful of New Peruvian Soles, we get into the taxi and drive off. I’m not sure what traffic is like where you live, but in Peru it was, initially, pretty crazy. People give no fucks about anything other than the most important traffic lights and not a single honk-free second passes.
Apparently they honk not when they’re angry or frustrated (though standing still for longer than a second still incites a lot of honks), but rather when they want to make themselves knows. As a heads-up of sorts. “Hey I’m overtaking you on the right, so be careful.” “Will be crossing by right in front of you in half a second, just so you know.” This also explains why our taxi driver had a little soundboard under his steering wheel for up to three different honk noises. Got to hear a difference between “reckless driving incoming” and “dangerous driving incoming”.
That being said, because everyone does it and knows what’s up, it isn’t actually dangerous at all. Just kind of exciting! Haven’t even spoken of those tight mountain roads yet.