LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||14/ABR/2008 2:08 PM|
|Assunto:||Driving in the States|
Easy? I've seen people fail the driving exam in California for not being able to open a window quickly.
Oregon has a terrible reputation for failing out-of-state drivers. And I'm talking about a failure rate of almost 100%. The reason appears to be quite simple: if an out of state driver fails, he has to take the exam again, a form of job security for examiners. One California driver I know exploded. He told the examiner that he (the examiner) wouldn't survive five minutes in Los Angeles traffic. It's true. Oregon simply doesn't have the traffic that California has. The examiner changed the grade to passing. There has always been a rivalry between the two states, but Oregon can really be C.S. (If "C" stands for chicken, I'll let you decide what "S" stands for.)
Don't get me started on the crap I went through with DETRAN to get a license in Brazil. When I wasn't cursing under my breath, I was laughing. While I was in a class of defensive driving, out in the street people were tailgating and not giving other drivers any slack at all. North and west of Porto Alegre, I saw a police car come within a second or two of a head-on collision. The other driver had crossed a double-line to pass me and several other cars. Did the police pursue the driver? Of course not. In the USA, the idiot would still be making payments on his fine. The DETRAN talks about courtesy were particularly amusing.
I spent Easter Week in the general area of Washington, DC, driving about 200-300 miles in four states. I don't recall hearing a horn. Not once. Brazil isn't too bad in the horn blowing department, but I've been in almost every country in the Americas, and in most countries drivers seem to equate honking horns with voting, breathing, playing soccer, and drinking beer. Horn blowing is somewhere between a birthright and an art form. The level of courtesy in the USA is in direct contrast with Latin America where driving seems to follow the Mexican law of "meimportamadrismo" (I don't give a damn). Costa Ricans who have driven in the USA are surprised , pleasantly,. by the experience.
All cars in the USA are automatic? I don't recall owning a car with an automatic transmission since the 1960s.
It's a very serious crime in the USA to endanger the life of a pedestrian. Here it's a sport. If you drive into a crosswalk, God help you if someone is in it.
I have, by the way, licenses from California, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
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