35 Honks

    My taxi service is always on time or early- but never late.

This morning my driver was five minutes late, then ten, then fifteen and then thirty minutes past my scheduled pick up time. He had the unfortunate luck of getting a flat tire first thing in the morning. Even with the chaotic Lima traffic, I still had plenty of time to make it to my training, though I’m not sure that my driver knew that.

He had driven me once before and I remembered him as the driver who has a certain obsession with the horn in his car. As we sat at a red light, seven cars behind the front of the line, he incessantly honked the horn. I’m not sure why since typically honking is reserved for those in closest proximity and those cars were also blocked in by the five cars in front of them. Peruvian road rage at its finest, honking the horn just because it’s there.

This morning he honked the horn with minutes of driving away from my apartment, “Ah yes,” I thought, “this is the horn guy.” So I began to count. One, two then three in a row. Six, seven, eight, a short break to read the paper followed by a close nine, ten, eleven and twelve. I kept counting and kept counting. He honked while sitting at a red light, while merging onto the interstate, when telling a car to go faster and while warning pedestrians from getting in his way. Some areas of Lima have made honking car horns illegal. That law was established for drivers like him.

By the time I reached my final destination, he had honked 35 times. In a thirty minute drive.