The following are ten of these, in no particular order:
1. Horses. Many, usually without halters, but a rope around the neck tied on the side of the road, eating grass. Others, being transported in the back of pick-up trucks (with wooden sides), held in by a rope, and – recently seen, a horse with a rope around its neck loping behind a new Yaris with a young teen sitting in the trunk, one hand holding the lid up and the other on the rope pulling the horse.
2. Unmarked food stands with warming lights over fried pastry-looking objects. These are empanadillas, not unlike Cornish pasties, filled with everything from pizza sauce and cheese to octopus or chicken. There are also balls and tubes of meat or cheese wrapped in cornmeal (sorullos) or potatoes (papas). They are always fried. Cost – usually less than $1.50 each.
3. Power and telephone poles painted in 3 colored 4-5 foot stripes on the first 10-15 feet from the ground. We have been told the colors signify which pueblo or township they belong to.
4. Signs that show the silhouette of a cow or say that livestock may run into the roadway (“ganado en rodaje”).
5. Political posters, almost always with a smiling headshot of a candidate who goes by his or her first name (i.e., “Charlie,” “Freddy,” “Janice,” “Norman,” “Ivan,” “Evelyn”). Apparently, this gives the impression that this person is your friend and thus, deserves your vote.
6. Houses or buildings painted with random subdued but tropical colors (reds, oranges, yellow, lavender, blues, greens, turquoise) as if someone just grabbed a bucket and painted for the day, then grabbed a new bucket the following day and so on.
7. Airbrush artwork. On vans, usually painted with caricatures of cartoon characters (Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, Lilo and Stitch, Tom and Jerry, Superman, etc.) selling pizza along the roadways. On incredible murals - some more urban punk, some more impressionistic style - painted onto concrete walls, poles, buildings. Or, on signs for businesses.
8. People sitting on porches within 2-3 feet of the road, watching cars go by and remarking on them and their contents (“Ah, que lindo” for example, when we have the dogs with us in the car).
9. People stopping or parking their cars in the roadway so they can chat with friends, either standing in the road or driving the opposite direction. Traffic comes to a standstill but nobody complains. (The only honking we ever hear is when cars don’t move quickly on a left turn green arrow – these are never green long and everyone wants to get through the intersection.)
10. Vendors on foot, at intersections with left turn lanes, walking between the cars and selling things like bunches of bananas, bottles of water, newspapers, and bags of plantain chips.