For months in the summer it rains – in the afternoon mostly – the pouring tropical rain that renders umbrellas useless and floods the streets of Mérida…I will open my front door to find a small stream flowing downward to the other end of the house. Walking on the sidewalks so close to the traffic – yes, the buses and cars drive only arms-length from pedestrians – with the flooded streets often leads to complete humiliation with splatterings of dirty water stains up and down whatever side of the body is closest to the street. I have seen people drive, not in the middle of the street which would seem logical because there is no water, even though there is not a single other car on the road, but on the edges where they splash right into me so many times that I can’t imagine they are not hysterically laughing as they drive away.
Since this has happened to me several times, I developed some strategies to avoid this – one of which is walking against traffic so I can see people aiming for me and quickly plaster myself to the nearest building, holding my umbrella out and look ing completely ridiculous but with the hope to save myself from the wet mess I will become – it’s an issue of pride because I swear I never see it happen to Yucatecans. Ever.