Things I learned on the PAN AM Highway trip

Written by Jesse

Topics: Uncategorized

There will be chaos – The Mexico/USA and Peru/Chile borders where organized and easy to migrate through the process, everything else is some level of chaos.

In Latin America, it is OK to stare at womens’ tits – Often they will go out of their way to make sure you see them (the ta-tas)

Eat where the locals eat – This generally means the dirtiest looking dive on the edge of town. The only time my brother-in-law and I were sick was when we ate at the best looking restaurant we had seen for days; in Peru. We then had three days where we could shit 6 feet.

Every border crossing incurs “fees”. – Even if the immigration services are free. Often this will be in paying a border helper. This is a cottage industry that has arisen out of the chaos of crossing these borders. The 2 – 5 dollars you pay will save you hours.

Acting like you don’t speak Spanish will get you out of a lot situations with law enforcement.

Direct conflict (causing a scene) will go a long way to getting your problem resolved. Nothing speeds a process liking getting loud.

Adjust the hot water very carefully. – Do not stand under the water while adjusting the temperature. – All off and all on can be as little as 1/4 inch. You can scold yourself and not think you have moved the handle at all.

Drive like you are trying to KILL everyone else on the road. – Drive defensively and you will not move. Honestly, if you think it will get you thrown in jail ( and not just a ticket ) for reckless driving – or attempted vehicular homicide – it is probably acceptable driving in most of Latin America.

Under any circumstances, DO NOT DRIVE IN MEXICO CITY! – Red lights are not recognized. Try a 4 way intersections with a total of 12 lanes meeting in the middle at 40 miles an hour and right of way goes to who ever doesn’t flinch.

Freight shippers are crooks. The border helpers have more morals.

The locals don’t want you to “save them”. They want you to leave your money and leave so they can go back to drinking beer, going to the whore houses and living in their hut. Anything else will take too much effort.

Beware of little girls swinging shovels.

Carry both bribe money and a knife.

Buses may not stop for you to get on and off. If they slow down, that’s your signal.

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