Driving Like a Local

As mentioned in an earlier post – driving in Panama is not for the faint of heart!  I found the below quote on a group/blog/forum. Granted this is referring to Panama City, but it could also apply to David!

“We finally had to hire a cab that we could follow to get us to Via Espana in order to return the car. Worth every penny and more!! Driving here in Panama takes a combination of sheer grit, sheer terror, sheer stupidity and hair trigger reactions. If you can’t think lightning fast, don’t rent a car.”

I laughed when I read that, it is so true.  In David there are only a few traffic lights and they are not always “turned on.”   Yes, that is true – the traffic lights will be off and other times on.  Don’t know why that is.  In my opinion they should always be on, the traffic is always crazy in David. Also, the streets here are very confusing, some roads run diagonally. Even people that have lived here for years still get mixed up on the streets in downtown David.

I’ve been so impressed with Jim. He is driving like a local. On a recent outing he drove on the shoulder to get around cars turning left, he went between two buses – one bus in each direction, he backed out of a parking spot into traffic with nary a worry in the world, and didn’t stop for anyone, regardless of age or agility, at a crosswalk.  The only department Jim needs work on is using the horn!!  They love to honk here.

It took me a good eight months to finally drive to David, though I only stick to the outskirts and avoid the true downtown area.  One reason is our car is manual transmission and I am not comfortable nosing into two lanes of crazy traffic to make a left turn.  Also, as mentioned above the way the roads run and crisscross can be really confusing.  We know a local man who drives to the outskirts and uses a taxi for the true downtown area, and he has lived here for almost 15 years.

I think I may try to video driving in David, so you can see what I am writing about.