Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A new appriciation for bus drivers

So, I didn’t do any walking yet, I rode a lot of buses and I have learned some things. I have learned not to be intimidated by strangers, I know you’re thinking I’m this confident worldy traveler, not afraid of anything or anybody....well, truth is I have always been afraid of getting on a crowed bus and having to sit shoulder to should with total strangers. I never know what proper bus etiquette is, are you expected to greet and make conversation with your seat mate, or are people just wanting to get to work or home from work in some peace an quiet? They may have worked all day, or all night, they’re not all on vacation like me. Or is it rude to not introduce your self and make conversation? So I have always tried to sit in an empty row by my self and just minding my own business but today my business became other peoples business as well. I am after all like a 2 year old now, I cannot speak in full sentences (yet) and I don’t know which bus goes where and to make things even more complicated Lydia, whom I am staying with for now lives in a new colonia, it is so new nobody knows where it is. When I tell the bus drivers I want to go to Santos Tomas they look at me like I’m, well.....a moose or something. Luckily Santos Tomas is directly in front of Mazatlan’s newest and most prized landmark, Mazatlanecos are very proud of it, and make sure they tell you about it, which surprises me that Santos Tomas did not become famous when it was built, it is WalMart, yes we have a big new shiny WalMart, and I live right in front of it. When I get on a bus I ask the bus driver “WalMart?” in a question like tone, because I don’t how to say “is this bus going to WalMart?” When I was at the church this morning getting a bus to come home the bus had WalMart written in white marker on the window, most do have the destinations written on their window, this is most helpful to me, but not all do. That particular one must have disappeared into that hole where the good buses fall into when you never see them again. Later when I wanted to go from my house (WalMart) to the market to buy some groceries (I was planning on cooking supper) I waited and waited for a bus that had market written o n it but none did, so after a while I would ask the bus driver “merchado” in my question tone, finally a wonderful bus driver says “yes, Mercado” so I get on, find a seat in the middle of the bus by my self, trying to look out the window looking for familiar landmarks so I know where to get off. Finally the bus driver stops, turns around, looks right at me and points for me to get nice is that? I always thought bus drivers kinda drive in a daze, not remembering who gets on or off. Turns out they love their job, and pay attention to each and every passenger and their needs, I hope they have bus driver appreciation day here. So I finish at the market, shopping for my very first meal (tell ya about it later...I have pictures too) Now I need to get back to WalMart again, so again I wait for that bus that had WalMart written on the window, it doesn’t come, it’s still in the hole. So again I ask the bus drivers “WalMart” they say no, no, no, the whole time there’s a gentleman leaning against a wall beside me not saying a word or even looking at me, I thought he was asleep. Just when I thought all the buses in Mazatlan had passed me, which is impossible because there is a never ending supply of buses in Mexico, I don’t know where they all come from, but they just keep coming and coming, sleeping man wakes up and flags down a bus and asks the bus driver “blah blah blah ... ,blah WalMart” bus driver says “blah blah blah si WalMart” I’m thinking “this guy lives at WalMart too” he steps aside and ushers me on, and leans against his wall again, when I looked out window as we were driving away he was sleeping again. This time I sit beside a lovely lady but now I can’t see out the window, so I greet the lady “Buenos nochas, WalMart?” she smiles says “Buenos nochas, si WalMart” and lets me now when we get there. I love these people! Bus drivers are soon going to wonder why I am travelling back and forth from WalMart 8 times a day.

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