Saturday, January 19, 2008

Stone Free

We were up well before dawn today (thanks, Crazy Jesus People!) with no real plan for the day, so we decided to get in the car and just head north. We'd heard nice things about San Luis Potosí, but unfortunately one of the things we'd heard was that it was 10 hours away. (More specifically, Lonely Planet says the bus from SLP to Querétaro takes 10+ hours, so it never occurred to us that you can in fact drive it yourself in under two. [Private aside to our friend at LP: ?!?]) So after a year and a half of thinking we should someday set aside half a week to go visit the place, we left here at 10 and were there well before lunch.

The city is pretty gorgeous, though you may want to arrive there after lunch, since it's not exactly a restaurant town. The ratio of Beautiful Colonial Plazas-to-Outdoor Cafes Situated on Beautiful Colonial Plazas is approximately 12:0. And for some inexplicable-even-in-retrospect reason we thought it would be a good idea to bring the perro, which is really about as practical as bringing 22 pounds of cookie dough - except cookie dough wouldn't prevent you from entering churches or museums. So basically we walked around for three hours, dragging/carrying a geriatric house pet behind us while we ooh-ed and ahh-ed all the buildings we couldn't go into, worked up an insatiable appetite and drove home.

One of our favorite things about driving on the federal highways here is that they're lined with Big Brother-type signs giving you orders the whole way. A huge number of them are self referential: "Obey The Signs," "Don't Mistreat The Signs," etc. The best, though, is the one shown here: "Don't Leave Stones on the Pavement." Absolutely goddamn right! Great advice. I think everything you need to know about Mexico can be summed up by the fact that this sign is considered both necessary and, given the generally stone-free condition of the highways, effective.


'Eddie Willers' said...

They have some great signs on the carreteras don't they? 'Obey the signs', 'Don't mistreat the signs' and I keep expecting to see 'The signs are your friends'.

'Don't run - they're waiting at home for you' sounds just the right note of doom of impending sqalling brats and embattled mothers-in-law.

'Radar In Operation'- look out for mordida-seeking police ahead. (Unfair to the Federales, who are actually very polite and professional)

snowyco said...

I especially like the "No Deje Piedras..." (Don't Leave Rocks...) on our pancake-flat Yucatecan roads, as if anyone would ever need to chock a wheel to keep anything from rolling...

QroSteve said...

My favorite sign is on the Acapulco-Mexico City highway about 30 miles from the nearest house. It says "Bridge with no name" ("Puente Sin Nombre") - I always imagine some poor guy in 90 degree heat banging in this sign solely to inform passing drivers that no-one has had the creativity to think up of a title for some nondescript bridge!

Anonymous said...

That was the name of the bridge, clever "Sin nombre"

I love the signs of "No maltrate las señales" and it is always ruined by grafitti or blended by someone who thought it would be funny to damage that sign.

I hate the ones that said "Topes aquí" because it is useless.