I've been living and driving in Mexico for one year and ten months. When I first moved here I thought it was important to learn fast the meanings of different traffic signs. I say "thought" because now days I know that it doesn't really matter what the signs say, we're all going to drive the way we want, but never mind that for today.
One of the street signs - "No estacionamiento" - I remember vividly because it was such a big word and at the time impossible for my non-Spanish-speaking tongue to get out of my mouth correctly. I went around for two weeks mumbling "es-ta-see-own-uh-me-en-toe" slowly and deliberately under my breath - driving my husband nuts having to re-ask over and over "How does it go again? Esta-see-what??"
I can actually remember where I was the first time I got it right and how thrilled I was at my accomplishment. Chino and I were down town Reynosa in the car and I was practicing and all of a sudden it started flying out of my mouth quickly and correctly and I was thrilled and clapping my hands and repeating it while my husband shook his head in awe of my.... specialness.
Fast forward a year and ten months or so to the past two weeks and I've found myself facing a number of the signs you see - above to the right - every day I go to work. Because of the flooding here I was forced to find a different route to the border - at night time, alone - and for what ever reason my brain failed me the first night I ran across this "No-E" sign.
I was one block away from the street I needed when at a stop sign I looked across the street to see the "No-E" sign and thought to myself "Oh SHIT!" "No Entrance???" "But I don't know how else to get to the street I need! And it's dark! And I don't want to go around getting lost and what am I going to do because if I go the wrong way and enter that street with the NO ENTRANCE sign the Transito is going to get me and WOE IS MEEEEEE!!!!"
And so, for the past two weeks I've been taking a goofy ass twisted up route to get to the border to avoid the dreaded "No-E" signs.
I noticed that many drivers ignored the signs and drove down those streets anyway but figured that they were merely more brave than I and didn't fear the Transito. Or they didn't see the signs. Or whatever, the fact is I saw them and nothing clicked.
The "No-E" sign of course doesn't stand for "No Entrance" it STANDS for "No estacionamiento."
Oh. My God.
I thought the no parking signs meant no entrance and have been avoiding them all over the city trying to make my new route to the border.
Because my dildo of a brain ran low on it's double d's and mixed up the English "E" for the Mexican "E" I've been driving around the city like a psycho rat in a cheese maze with no sense of direction, merely on a a tunnel vision mission to my border prize.
I don't know why I finally realized, it just all of a sudden clicked and for one moment all the systems in my brain and body shut down for a second of stunned silence at the awe of my.... specialness.
I'm a very, very special gal.
God Help Me.