The Ecuadorian honk-translate-dictionary.
It will be a life threatening event to ever go and participate in Dutch traffic again. My fright reaction has fallen behind in comparison to my brothers and sisters in evolution (or actually, it has over-evolved: it can only be evoked by acute life danger that´s directly visible.) But after two weeks in Quito, I´ve also become honk-immune. One has to be, or else you´d need tranquilizers every time you go out on the street.
So by now I´ve learned the basics of the Ecuadorian honk language and I´d like to share my new knowledge with people in countries where you pay 130 euros if you honk when there´s no direct danger. I have to admit though: there´s always direct danger here, so maybe it´s not as mad as it seems :).
Here are the interpretations that I´ve discovered so far: ¨Honk honk…
- I´m going right.
- I´m going left.
- I´m going straight on.
- Oh no, I´m not.
- Cool shoes!
- This cab is free.
- This cab isn´t free, but I did see you.
- My favorite song is playing now!
- I´m going to pass (preferably on the right side)
- I´ve got my head in the glovebox.
- I like your car!
- I´m going to change lanes.
- I´m staying on this lane, so you can change.
- Oh no, I´m not, so you can´t.
- My team just scored.
- We´re the police.
- I can´t see if any vehicle´s approaching, but I won´t brake: I honked.
- La la la... honk honk.
- The traffic light´s green! (to be used for distances up to 500m, regardless the number of cars between you and the traffic light.)
- Red traffic light but I´m driving through anyway.
- Hey, I haven´t honked for two minutes!
- It´s monday.
- My flashers don´t work.
- You can cross.
- You could cross, but I won´t stop.
- I sell bottles with gas.
- Gringas! (Foreigners!)
- With mayonnaise and some extra rice, please.
- I´m stuck in a traffic jam
- Sorry (highly exceptional)