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Back to driving, finally!


Half Baked

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Half Baked

So, when we got to the Philippines, we already had a car and
full-time driver (B-I-L). I didn’t drive for about 2 or 3 months, but rode up
front in the passenger seat and observed the way that they drive here. I just
took it all in stride, as the BIL seemed to do a pretty good job.
 

One day during holy week, I felt brave and took the keys. I
drove the whole family around town (hadn’t really driven a standard
transmission in about 25 years, but it came back quickly, as I always enjoyed
driving a stick shift). Of course the wife sat in the backseat constantly
giving me “helpful hints” on driving, which I thought was funny since she never
seemed to give the BIL grief about his driving!(?) But, as always, I gave her
the choice of refraining with her assistance or driving the damned car herself.
She assured me that she was only trying to help me be more aware of the crazy
drivers here,  (I suppose she did the same thing in the States to help me avoid
the crazy drivers there!)
 

Recently, the BIL went back home across the island and I
have assumed total driving responsibilities for the family and crew. It feels good
to be back driving regularly. I’m getting the hang of the way the locals drive
(I met a Swiss guy that has been here 25 years and he said that the locals are
never TAUGHT to drive, which believe it or not has helped me to understand the
reason they drive like they do…. So I try to drive like I’ve never been taught
and it seems to work out better for me and the locals!) We live in a more rural
area than before, so the traffic isn’t as bad… but we still get into the city
some, and I do alright in the traffic there. The wife still nags gives
me helpful suggestions, which make driving here even harder I am
grateful for, Lord knows I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.



 

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MarinePride

The most important rules when it comes to driving here:

 

1. Don't hit anything, as you will end up paying for it.

2. Don't let anything hit you, easier said than done!

3. Don't expect to see warining signs or lights at intersections.

 

Driving is hell here at certain times of the day, escpecially when the road is shared with non motorized forms of transport, i.e. pedicabs, bicycles.  The roads are in bad shape and too narrow.

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So I try to drive like I’ve never been taught and it seems to work out better for me and the locals!)

Word.  Drive like they do and everybody knows what everyone is going to do.  Drive like you were taught and problems arise.

Of course the wife sat in the backseat constantly giving me “helpful hints” on driving

Get used to that. It doesn't stop.  I get the constant, You almost hit that _____.  I tell her almost is a good thing.  To be honest though, they are looking out for your wallet.  You pay for any accident.

Edited by SkyMan
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JSL-USMC

I didn't find it particularly hard to drive here. You just have to be observant and assume everyone is going to cut you off. I used to do a lot of cursing but I don't even do that anymore, except for the suicide buses. Cursing does help to relieve that  pressure on your spleen. And, as Marine Pride said, you are at fault...probably even if you are parked and in the Mall.

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When people who haven't ever driven here ask about it, I always tell them it's not as bad as it looks.  Coming from any western country where traffic laws are enforced and the drivers follow the rules, the roads and drivers here look like chaos.  In fact they are chaos, but drivers follow their own set of practical rules.  Once you try it and start to understand how things work, it's really not that bad.

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When people who haven't ever driven here ask about it, I always tell them it's not as bad as it looks.  Coming from any western country where traffic laws are enforced and the drivers follow the rules, the roads and drivers here look like chaos.  In fact they are chaos, but drivers follow their own set of practical rules.  Once you try it and start to understand how things work, it's really not that bad.

 

Totally agree.  I can't understand why so many foreigners think it's almost impossible for them to drive in Cebu.  The other factor that makes it easier than it may look to non-drivers is that traffic generally travels at a relatively slow speed.

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