If you think that “The Fast and The Furious” is just a movie, you’re wrong. It’s a whole driving and traffic culture that is very real – and that is alive and kicking (literally) right here, in Bogotá.
If you’re driving in Colombia’s capital (or if you’re simply trying to cross streets), you need to forget all about any traffic rules or driving principles that you have ever learned. Right here, things simply don’t work that way.
The only rule about traffic in Bogotá is that there are no rules. Literally. As unofficial as that may be, the truth is that the reality comes down to this mostly lawless, Mad-Max-like environment where the most unexpected things can happen.
In a special mix of daring creativity with downright sociopathic inclinations, people behind a wheel in Bogotá change from the otherwise friendly persons that they are known for, and become aggressive drivers that make other known aggressive drivers (such as the Brazilians or the Portuguese) look like choir boys. Talk about double personality…
Bogotanos park wherever they want, speed when they see someone crossing a street, see more than two ways in any street (their creativity at play, once again), turn wherever they like, tell the police to take a hike (that is, if they see them), tell other drivers that they’re going to kill them, have all the phone conversations or text messaging sessions that they want to have while driving, you name it. Plus, they’re always right. Always. Each one of them. Really.
So it is easier to say that there isn’t anything that Bogotanos cannot do behind a wheel. They’re like evil super-heroes with unlimited powers. Think about Nihilists on steroids. That’s them.
In short, they do whatever they like and seem to be happy to face the consequences – which are essentially dealing with other enraged drivers who can be even scarier than them. Call it natural justice.
At the end of the day, there’s a good side to this, though. If you learn how to drive in Bogotá, you can possibly make one very successful and profitable career as a NASCAR driver. After all, if you make it in Bogotá, there’s no road or track in the world that can hold you down.
Written by: Miggy, check out his site for more from him.