Friday, July 4, 2014

Riding the chicken bus.

 Can you read the red letters? It's blurry because the whole bus was shaking like a milkshake --I tried three times and this was the best shot. "Dios bendiga este bus y sus pasajeros" (God bless this bus and its passengers). "Amen!" I said. I found myself humming the Sanford and Son theme song the entire ride in. I'd stop, and it would creep back into my head and I'd be humming before I knew it. 
We'd run out of cash and almost out of food, so I thought I'd take the kids into town for a field trip. We Thought the bus passed by at 12, then the guys at the gate said more like 12:30, so we went back and made lunch. Jeff was planning on coming with us, but got on a conference call, and when the bus pulled up at 12:15 and honked, I told him and I thought he waved me off. He didn't...but I didn't know that until I got back... Me and the girls left. Kai stayed home with his dad.
 There was a driver and a "door guy" who took money etc. . The door guy was super nice to us and gave us the front bench to share, and told us where the bank was, and the market where we needed to catch the bus home, and where Pali' the actual good market was. I felt safe the whole time as far as company went. The passengers were all quiet, and nobody brought chickens.  When we got there, we went through three ATM's trying my credit card, my debit card, trying to get money from savings, from checking, from credit...turns out two of the three ATM's don't take mastercard, just visa (what's up with that?). When we got home Jeff had been in touch with Capital One, and had cancelled our credit card because it looked so much like fraud. No cell phones remember? He couldn't contact me.
Meanwhile we finally figured it out, got money and got gelato to help us recover from our ordeal. Dragonfruit gelato is amazing!

After gelato, we decided to figure out where the "Mercado" was where we were to get our bus back at 4 (-ish --nothing ran on time turned out). We asked a policeman for directions. Our friend who had been here in February told us to never make eye contact with policemen, or they would pull you over and you'd have to pay them off. But dang. Who were we supposed to ask? Anyway, he was nice and gave us good directions. I took a picture at this corner because I swear I had seen this house in a dream before. Weird.

 On our way, we saw a true, beautiful bakery. The baker let me take a picture of his bread oven,
 and the inside of his shop. His bread was amazing. We got the olive and the multigrain.
I love how they wrap everything up like a present in brown paper. I remember this from my mission in Uruguay.

 Front of the shop so I can find it again.
So, we found the Mercado, which turned out to be a bunch of little shops together on one city block, and then got directions to the Pali'. It was a longer walk than we thought, and walking back with 9 bulging grocery bags was no joke. We made it though with half an hour to spare. The girls looked into some shops, and I bought a good chocolate bar. We found the right corner to wait for the bus.
 and wait.
 and wait!
 Our corner was the garbage corner apparently, and everyone of the shops brought out their garbage, and the truck came to pick it up.
 We counted four stray dogs around us. People huffily walked around our grocery bags. I was a pretty good sport through all of this, but when we got loaded down with groceries, my good mood seemed to evaporate. Finally the bus came, and it was filled with people this time. We had to sit apart, me with all of the bags, and slowly made our way home. The door guy was a real acrobat on this bus. At one point he climbed out the door, along the side of the bus, and onto the roof to check something(?). A different time, he climbed over the back of the seat of the driver and onto the side of the bus to pull a cable for the horn that had seemed to malfunction. The horn was NECESSARY! They honked at curves in the dirt road, they honked at passing motorcycles, they honked at people standing on the side of the road. Just a friendly little "beep"! 
The bus broke down about half a mile from home, but finally made it. Jeff was outside waiting for us VERY anxious. I was really done at this point and sked if we could go out to dinner. He was in no position to argue poor thing.
 We were able to eat with our feet in the sand watching the sunset.

We all loved our food. Jeff had a red snapper grilled whole and smothered with tomatoes and onions. Kai ordered a hamburger.
Oh! I took a crappy video of the inside of the bus. Here:


belann said...

Sounds like a memorable day, at least. Kind of an "unfun" day at the end though...worth an evening out to dinner.

Terry Earley said...

I finally saw these enjoyable posts, so this should count for all.

What a fun, adventurous time.