When Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Alfaro began to speak about baches at a press conference this week, I was rather hoping he would announce a contest – with a new car as the prize – to identify the biggest pothole in the city.
As the undoubted winner, I could then ditch my stinky old jalopy that this week almost disappeared under a rush of raging rainwater while parked on an innocuous side street.
Unfortunately, the mayor made no such announcement, thus failing on the citizen engagement front. Instead, he talked of how the bache blight was mushrooming out of control and revealed that councilors were about to approve the purchase of weirdly named British “velocity patching” technology that will allow work teams to throw away their buckets, shovels and wheelbarrows and race around the city filling in each pothole in a quicker time than it takes Usain Bolt to win a gold medal.
Anyone who has driven on Guadalajara’s streets during the rainy season can be forgiven for questioning their entire raison d’être for coming to Mexico. Regardless of the sturdiness of the vehicle you own, and however honed your driving skills may be, the toxic mix of flooded streets and no-holds-barred potholes will eventually catch up with you. The easy answer, of course, is not to drive on inundated streets and risk coming into contact with a hidden, bone-rattling, axil-destroying pothole. Just park your car and proceed on foot. Oh, I tried that and … my poor car!
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