- I had to drive on the left side of the road
- Not all roads were marked
- People gave directions based on landmarks
- There were pot holes everywhere
However, after being in St. Croix for almost 5 years, driving there has become second nature. I now give directions based on landmarks, we know where the pot holes are, who cares what the road names or numbers are, and driving on the left seems natural. Unfortunately, driving in St. Croix did nothing to prepare us for driving in Puerto Rico. The average speed that I drove in St. Croix was about 35-45 mph. I enjoy this pace of driving. It suits me. But guess what? Puerto Rico has super speed highways with multiple lanes and other drivers who are not bothered with cutting you off. The difficulties I now face with driving here is
- I have to drive on the right side of the road
- The road signs are in Spanish
- Puerto Ricans drive as if there are no rules
- Blinkers are not used
- Box trucks appear to desire running everyone over
- Traffic :(
- Lanes merge together with no warning
- Everyone drives fast
The first time we had to drive to San Juan in rush hour traffic, I was in tears. So many cars... It was just too much. When we purchased a vehicle here, the owner informed us that it is better to not use a blinker when trying to move into another lane. The reason was because using a blinker would cause other vehicles to speed up and not let you over. Can you believe that!? In St. Croix, people will purposefully slow down to let you in and honk or wave to say hello. Are we missing home? Yes...
Because I get car sick, I am the one driving for the most part. I suppose I will learn to be assertive and drive like other Puerto Ricans soon enough. For now, driving is a daunting experience and if possible I find ways to avoid it. Driving the golf cart through our neighborhood is so much more relaxing...