Toot toot, hey, beep beep!


With driving this dodgy you need all the help you can get

Driving in Latin America is always fun, if sometimes mildly terrifying, and only the bravest of drivers should attempt it.

I don’t really know why they bother having gears because they seem to go from first straight to fifth, beginning to brake only when within five metres of the car/pedestrian/donkey/cow in front.

Many features both on the car and on the road are redundant. Seatbelts, indicators, red lights, zebra crossings, speed limits and lanes appear to exist only as decoration.


..And we’ve seen more people on a bike than this!

But there is one prerequisite for driving a vehicle: make as much noise as possible while you do it. Every situation has its beep.

So, just in case you ever find yourself behind the wheel of a car or on the seat of a bike around here, hope this helps clear things up a bit.

1. The Toot
A short, friendly-sounding emission.
Possible translations: “Hey, how you doing mate?” / “It’s ok, you go first” / “Thank you.”

2. The Beep
A slightly longer and more irritated sound than the Toot.
Possible translations: “What the hell are you doing driving/walking in that lane/braking so suddenly?” / “The light’s been green for 0.2 seconds, why aren’t you moving? Vamos!”

3. The Honk
A single, longer, louder and angrier noise than the Beep.
Possible translation: “Thank GOD I’m past you now because you were driving like an idiot. Idiot.”

4. The Trill
Neverending series of Toots.
Possible translation: “Get out of my way, suckers.”

5. The Tentative Trill
Two rapid Toots, given a split second before speeding past a side road.
Possible translation: “I’m here and I tooted first so I’m not stopping for anyone byebyenow.”


About travellingtoothbrushes

We are a couple of journalists with restless toothbrushes. Our teeth scrubbers seem unable to leap out of their respective washbags to take up a permanent residency on the bathroom shelf. So, we've decided to let them live the way they want to and take them on a trip around South America...
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