Day 31 – August 12, 2013: How many Mexican highway workers does it take to change a light bulb?

About a week and a half ago, I was driving near Querétaro, when the answer to this riddle became quite apparent:

Q: How many Mexican highway workers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: 50. One to change the light bulb, and 49 to redirect traffic.

Driving along the highway, I saw some orange cones, and a lone man in an orange vest, directing traffic to merge from the left lane into the right. This was followed by hundreds of traffic cones, but no sign of work whatsoever. After a mile or so, I saw another worker, waving traffic away from the left lane (never mind that nobody was in the left lane, thanks to the cones, and the previous redirection a mile earlier).

From this point, every hundred feet or so, I saw another man in an orange vest waving a flag, instructing me to continue not to merge back into the quarantined left lane. This went on for another mile or two.

Eventually, after about 3-4 miles of these cones and people waving at me, I saw, on the shoulder, a cherry-picker, holding a man high into the air, to change the light bulb on a street light.


Mexican traffic often makes me chuckle. Which brings me to another encounter I had this morning.

Over the weekend in Guadalajara, we had a very severe thunder storm, complete with flooding (photos later), power outages, and many downed trees. This morning as I was driving to an appointment to replace my brake pads along Mariano Otero, one of the major roads through Guadalajara, the traffic lights were out, and there was a tree blocking a major portion of the road. So a traffic cop was at the intersection, directing traffic.

Until he saw me.

Or more precisely, until he saw my car.

He had me stop in the middle of the hectic intersection, to ask me about my car, and how much I would sell it for!!

I do get offers for my car all the time, as diesel Jettas are rare here… (this was at least my second one this week), but I’ve never had a traffic-directing police man hold up 6 lanes of traffic to ask me if I would sell it!

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