Sunday, July 18, 2010

Me and ... The Bus

For the Nth time this year, my car broke down. I told my mechanic it has asthma. That's how it feels anyway. And unfortunately, i dont think there are inhalors for cars. It had to go straight to the lung doctor aka the mechanic. He called me the following day and said: darling, it's the air valve, which makes your car act like it's in 5th when it should be in 3rd and sucks gaz like a drug addict snorting coke. Yeah, i know. He said it'll be a few days to fix it since he needed to order the valve. Whatever.

I dont really use my car. Well i mean i do but i dont really NEED my car. Whether it's to go to work or to go anywhere else, there are buses pretty much everywhere. And to any destination. And the closest bus passes one block away from my house.
So on Wednesday, first day without my car, i had to take the bus to go to work. No big deal. I actually kinda like taking the bus cuz i dont have to worry about other people on the road. As most of you know already, i tend to lose focus easily, i tend to lose my train of thoughts, to be all over the place, to daydream a lot and above all, i love to do people watching. So in the bus, i can do all that.

So here i was, 7:30am, at the corner of the block, at the bus stop, waiting for my dear beloved bus to come pick me up. It showed up maybe 5 minutes later, at full throttle. Here in Mexico, unless you wave the bus driver, he will no stop. Problem was, bloody bus was so jammed packed people were HANGING OUTSIDE!! O_o
In the split second i realized that and the moment the bus was arriving where i was standing i thought "there is no way he's gonna stop" but i mechanically waved at it anyway.
And it stopped.
In front of me.
And i laughed.
I mean, dude, where am i supposed to stand? I dont mind standing in the bus, i'd actually rather stand than sit but there is no ROOM to even stand. I couldnt stop laughing cuz honestly, for me, at that moment, it was just unreal. Well i guess being a woman in Mexico surely helps sometimes, one of the guy hanging pushed himself up, the other one hanging let me hop on, and got back to his hanging place, basically making a human railing for me not to fall. How sweet.

This is the bus i'm taking in the morning. The exact same one except that mine doesnt say "ixtapa" in the windshield. But this picture is a real one from Puerto Vallarta, taken downtown.

I pass you the details of MORE people hopping on, and people getting off so having to get down every stop to let them pass. All that happening at 7:30 in the morning. I mean you havent even started your working day and it's already an adventure!!

Well today was a little different. I was working further north, in the other state to be precise. So i had to get a connection bus! jaja. 15-20 minutes of the local bus and then 30-40 minutes of the interstate one. When you're in the bus for 15 minutes, standing is ok. But i mean when you're standing for 40 minutes, it's a lot less fun. But again, that was without counting on some of my co-worker's gallantry. I got on the interstate bus after maybe 25 people. And another 10 were behind me!!!! As i was heading towards the back of the bus (cuz i'm not fond of people rubbing their ass against mine as they try to get out), a colleague of mine just waved at me and told me to take his seat. Awww. How sweet.

One of my main problem with the bus, it's like the train, it rocks me to sleep. And since i hadnt slept enough the night before, i was gone the second the bus took off. To have the same colleague poke me in the shoulder 30 minutes later telling me, hey, we're there. Damn. I would have slept another hour and came back to where i started from!

On my way back tonight, the ride was nasty though. All that i dont like about the bus, was there. So between the guy with his i-pod full volume with banda music (please, take my headset, i'm offering them to you, no you dont have to give them back to me, i'm fine), the AC that is not working (it's 4pm and 40°C outside) so sweat dripping in my back and pretty much everywhere else (and everybody else as well, eww), the traditional mexican family coming back from the beach with 6 kids and 6 massive inflatable rings INFLATED still, a screaming kid who's gonna burst his lungs open and my accumulated tiredness, nope, interstate bus ride back home wasnt fun. But i just love the local bus one. It was as packed as in the morning one but with a whole bunch of people going back home after their long day at work, in the heat, standing in their glorious sweat, tight as sardines in their tin box, about to lose their balance and fall every time the bus is starting up, hanging outside the bus again and´passing the money to pay their trip cuz they got on by the back door, and getting their change and ticket back a few minutes later after every single person in the bus has touched it, people answering their phone, others struggling to make their way out and people like me, chatting on my phone with my 2 best friends (one on the other side of the world, the other on the other side of the country), enjoying every second of the ride, soaking myself into people's every day life.

I love the bus. I actually love it so much i miss my stop half of the time.
It didnt happen today though. I've noticed last time that i needed to ring the bell in front of the beer store and get off in front of the ice cream store. And that the second i ring the bell, i need to start hacking my way through the mob to make sure i get to the door on time to get off.

Cuz i'd die of embarassment if i had to scream "bajan" to the driver.


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