Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Not So Best of Small Town-The Sweet Ride

Small town wreaks havoc on cars. First of all, there is a great infactuation with the speed bump, or "tope" (pronounced "toe-pay"), all over this part of Mexico.

Topes come in several different varieties. Here are the ones most commonly encountered:

1) the multi-purpose crosswalk/tope



2) the big tope


3) the bumpy tope


4) And my personal favorite: the rope tope, used when private residents feel their street is lacking in the tope department.

The streets of Small Town are loaded with topes. On the two mile drive to my kids' school I go over 8 topes. There are several places in Small Town that have a series of 10 topes in a row with about 10 feet in between each one. I don't know what the deal is with the tope here. People seem like a law abiding group here, but maybe if you removed the topes they would all drive like maniacs. I really don't know.

Sometimes you get a warning sign, but not very often. It's not a problem if you hit one at a slow speed in town, but hitting one while going 65 mph on the highway can be a problem.

The second problem is potholes. During the rainy season, the road falls apart leaving huge potholes.

Here's my foot in the above pothole so you can get an idea of how big it is:

Rainy season is just starting, so they are still few and far between, but in about a month or so the streets will look like there has been a war here. When the roads are dry, they are an annoyance that you can usually swerve to avoid (I sometimes feel like I am playing a driving video game), but next week I'll show you what happens when the roads have been flooded. Not good.

Stay tuned!

24 comments:

Bright One said...

Of course here we call them "speed bumps" but I can tell you there's nothing so unfriendly as a "speed bump" via bicycle. There's just no good way around them, they are always jarring and occasionally unnavigable! Who thunk up these torture devices anyway! (P.S. Love the sandals! : )

Tess said...

holy moly - that pothole looks like it's big enough to be a pool!!

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

I love the homemade topes - such creativity! :)

No Cool Story said...

Love the cool sandals.
This post brings good memories, aren’t those tope annoying? When my American Host Parents visited me in Veracruz they were shocked by them, in particular about the signs, since this signs are usually AT the topes, just like your picture shows, there’s no warning, all of the sudden THUMP.
The potholes are a force to reckon, you don’t mess with those bad boys, as you said, specially when it rains, ‘cause you can’t tell how deep they are. I had a picture from the Veracruz newspaper (I’ve looking for it this morning, can’t find it) with a guy actually standing inside of this huge hole, which stayed that way for weeks, since no one has any hurry to get anything done, ever.

The rope tope is a classic; rope-tope the beloved shrimp and his shiny girlfriend are my favorites.

Janice J. said...

When we lived in Costa Rica, they would put tree limbs in the pot holes to warn you that one was there. Because it was the rainy season, the tree limb would actually start growing in the pot hole (and it also took them that long to finally get around replacing it.)

Code Yellow Mom said...

Can I say it "roe-pay" tope if I want? That's a classic.

The pothole situation reminds me of Ukraine after the snow melts in May - it's like, "Would you like a little road with your pothole?"

Grammy said...

Gabs, do you remember what they called the topes in Venezuela? It meant laying down policeman. I thought that was pretty funny. Nothing makes a speeder slow down faster than a policeman laying in the road.

Valarie said...

I love the rope topes. and roe-pay tope? that's even better.

El Guapo (I hate my name) said...

Gabriela, today's blog has lead to the creation of a phrase that's going to be with us for a while - the "roe-pay toe-pay". Not bad. I'm also interested in your use of the word "infactuated". I know about "infatuated", which means obsessed. Could "infactuated" mean something like they are full of facts about topes? If that's what you were going for then it makes a lot of sense because these people here love those things.

No Cool Story said...

Rope Topes ("Roe-pay Toe-pay")

Thanks, I neede that ;')

Gabriela said...

Guapo: Dang, I KNEW that word looked wrong!

Grammy: Ahhh, Venezuela. Can you imagine what our blogging opportunities would have been from there???

K-squared's Mom said...

I'll know when it's the height of the flood season when there's a half-submerged stop sign in the middle of the road! I've seen a couple of those. The biggest one I've seen in Small Town was big enough to "swallow" a pick-up truck! No kidding!

Those topes are in a world all their own. I will never look at a speed bump the same way again.

smartmama said...

thanks for helping me see the fun i am missing- turkey had great potholes-- but sadly i think new england is almost as bad

ABC Momma said...

I like the sandals too.

Maybe I'll try the rope tope on our street.

handiemom said...

Gotta love those speed bumps! When my Dad & I were in the Yucatan, we drove through a small 500-population town and even they had speed bumps! I guess it is for all of the crusin' farmers.

Have you come across any road construction "rocks"? When I lived in Puebla, if they were doing construction on the road and they had to close off part of a lane, they didn't have orange cones or flaggers like in the States. They just placed rocks around the area hoping you would see them. I hate to think of how many city workers got hit because of that invention.

Love the pics! Thanks for sharing!

Lei said...

Wow, it seems like where there are not certified topes, there are natural ones (potholes). Yeesh. I can only imagine what it's like driving through them in high waters! Do you drive a tank, lol?

Rachelle said...

I love your small town pics. Glad I don't have too many of those pics around here!

Yo Mama said...

Your sister, as a teenager, had an answer to how to handle speedbumps (or topes in your area). You just speed up as fast as you can and when you hit one you go airborn - and according to her you don't even feel them. I think she might have given up that practice after a few encounters with the local police.

Great shoes, bring them home with you. I think they might fit me.

Yo Mama said...

By the way, I liked the word infactuated. This blog was loaded with useful facts.

Stephanie said...

WOW. I was dying over the potholes. I think that I might have to make myself a ro-pay to-pay for the stinky teenagers that think our circle here is a racetrack.

Nettie said...

Darn! Our neighborhood association just purchased "topes" last fall that could be removed for snow plow season. If we'd known about the rope tope version we could have saved a lot of money!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

That brings back so many memories for me. Topes, arroyos and pozos. Oh, and glorietas. All a part of Mexican driving chaos. I love the way there is no such thing as a shoulder - it's all fair game if your car's narrow enough to fit. And to think I almost got to believing driving in Dallas was bad!

The Daring One said...

That is amazing. "the rope tope, used when private residents feel their street is lacking in the tope department." This cracked me up!

Carla (NCS sis) said...

Ha!, here in Vegas a freeway bridge actually had a hole so big that it went through such bridge, it was so bad that they had to close the freeway, and it was on the news.