I drove in Paris and Manila, I can drive!

by Patrick
(Antwerp, Belgium)

In the Science City of MUNOZ

In the Science City of MUNOZ

To test ur motoring skills, u must drive in Manila!

This is the only way to earn a bumper sticker that reads: I LEARNED TO DRIVE IN MANILA.
Both times I visited Manila, I rented a car. Both were manual transmission. The first was an SUV (they call it a "van"). Since it was a diesel, it was very handy in the steep mountains slopes around Tagaytay.

During the second trip I rented a faster, swifter car for long distance driving up into northern Luzon. U do a lot of shifting passing those tricycles!

Driving in Manila is tricky. At first u think they are all nuts. It's controlled chaos. Progressively u learn to read the traffic and while listening to and respecting the number of horn beeps, u may even come to enjoy it. One short beep means: watch me, here i come. Two short beeps mean: go ahead, it's ur turn. One long beep means: YOU IDIOT!

King of the road is the bus. Don't mess with it. Queen of the road is the Jeepney. Next in importance is the taxi.Then u!

If u yield to those three, u will be fine. Do not - repeat - do not get in their way.

Police is another nuisance. They will ticket u for driving correctly, especially around Christmas when they want a bonus from u, the foreign driver. Pay ur ticket on the spot - most likely $10. Do not fight it. Unless u want to spend the rest of ur vacation in a sweaty courtroom or a smelly jail.

Most foreigners fear the Manila traffic and rent a car with a driver. I'm sorry but I like privacy. I loved the challenge, and earned my bumper sticker...

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