We've been in Ecuador now for three weeks. We've been to Our Lady of the Sacred Waters in Baños, to the high wet and windswept "páramo" east of Quito, the thermal hot springs of Papallacta, and to the idyllic beaches of northwest Ecuador. We have lived and loved and laughed as family. Throughout it all we have relied on either hired drivers or public transportation.
On first appearance the local traffic customs remind one eerily of Hatrry Potter's Night Bus. Vehicles seem to go where they couldn't possibly fit, and people and objects magically get out of the way at the last minute. Our son Leni made an interesting comment the other day. He said drivers here are more considerate than in the US. I think he's right.
Oh, there is certainly a lot of cutting people off, disregard for lanes and general mayhem out there, but in it all people generally give other drivers at least 12 inches of leeway, and if you really have to get in you roll your window down and wave your hand frantically--other drivers will let you in. I never once heard a driver yell at another driver or even make a comment to me. Everyone knows that everyone else is also trying to get somewhere, and if everyone gives a little bit everyone will get through. Last minute decisions are part of life, and you just live with it. What goes around comes around.
Hmmmm....now if such an attitude could somehow seep through the doorframes and windows of the United Nations...