Latino light lunacy

I have long contended that living among Latinos is like living in Alice’s Wonderland, that place where logic exists in short supply. And it’s not just Mexico.

Back in 1976, my last wife and I were in a rental car in downtown Barcelona. It was dusk, that time between daylight and utter darkness, and it was quite dim. I turned on the headlights as any sensible person would do.

At the next stoplight, a cop walked up to me and told me to turn the headlights off. I did, but I never understood why, except that I was visiting another odd neighborhood of Alice’s Wonderland, that world where Latinos live.

And more than four decades later …

This evening we drove about a mile — in about the same sort of dusk as that evening in Barcelona — to a car repair shop down the highway to pick up the Nissan March that we’d left there earlier in the day for routine maintenance.

It was raining, and it was almost completely dark as we headed back in two cars toward the Hacienda. Most cars coming toward me had their full headlights on, but some just turned on the parking lights, and I saw two barrel by with no lights at all.

Not rare at that hour.

I have a theory that drivers here think that if they can see where they are going, it’s not time to flick on the lights. That others cannot see them is another matter that never occurs to them. The less the lights are turned on, the longer they last, which will cost less over time.

I imagine that’s the thinking even if they’re not consciously aware of it. Does the Cheshire Cat know we see little more than his grin and his eyes?

But we both made it home intact, which is the important thing, ¿no?

It should not be raining in December. It’s unnatural.

15 thoughts on “Latino light lunacy

  1. Felipe, maybe they are trying to save on power. You know, save the planet. More likely they don’t have lights. We have two pickups in our area that drive down the carretera. The taillights are completely broken out, and if you have no lights there is not much sense in having plates.

    Big system off the Pacific coming ashore with lots of rain, mostly north of us. The weather pattern will move up to Washington State and Canada soon enough, and there the weather will turn crappy where it belongs.


    1. Kirk: Don’t get me started on the lack of taillights. a more common problem than headlights, but somewhat less perilous, I think.

      I just looked at a Mexico weather map, and I don’t see that system you mention. Dunno why. It was raining a lot though.


  2. No headlights, no taillights, no lights turned on. Common problems everywhere in the countryside up here. Makes living interesting (while it lasts).
    It is especially interesting if you ride a motorcycle at high speeds anywhere close to the night hours.


    1. Ricardo: You live in Texas, so I imagine those are your illegals doing that, mostly. Sleepy Joe’s gonna make them all citizens, give them free healthcare and a guaranteed income (at your expense). Then they’ll turn on their lights at night. Trust me on this.


  3. That’s weird that you got stopped in Spain for having your headlights on. Here in Mexico I’ve noticed during a couple of cab rides that some of them use their windshield wipers sparingly. They leave them off until you can barely see out the window. Then one wipe and turn them off again. It reminds me of a trip many decades ago when I was in Tonga. Every time we went down a hill the driver would turn the engine off presumably to save on gas.


  4. I always drive with my headlights on, even in brilliant sunlight. Why? They make the car much more visible, which is why motorcycle headlights come on automatically. Honestly, I’m perplexed by how many folks here, driving gray/silver/bronze-ish cars (basically pavement color at a distance) won’t even put on headlights when it’s a dark day and raining. Truly puzzling, kind of like those folks who seem to think that driving closer equals driving faster.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there’s no shortage of idiocy, despite all the world-class universities.


    1. Kim: I’m guessing those folks who don’t turn on the headlights when it’s clearly time to do so are illegals from below the border. When Sleepy Joe makes them all citizens, they’ll start to turn on the lights appropriately. Believe me.


      1. I don’t think they are mostly illegals. The sad truth is that Boston has the most appalling drivers anywhere in the USA, so it’s just par for the course.


  5. Back in the ’50s, I traded my dark gray Dodge for a flashy lemon yellow Plymouth station wagon. The first thing I noticed was nobody pulled out in front of me from side streets or driveways anymore. They would wait up to 20 or 30 seconds for me to pass. I attributed it to the bright yellow station wagon. Since then I have had dark blue, gray, dark green, and they pull out in front of me all the time. Just proof of the point mentioned above.


  6. Most every vehicle made in the last 5-10 years has driving lights. Even my 2011 Honda CR-V has them. I believe it’s been mandatory in the socialist stronghold of Canada since 1990.

    Maybe Mexico doesn’t force the car manufacturer to have them?


    1. Nomad: Driving lights? I am clueless. I did an internet search and see things called driving lights. I am still confused. What is this? Some extra set of lights in addition to normal headlights? What on earth for? My 2009 CR-V has headlights and what we used to call parking lights, those little useless things. Nothing more.


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