Thursday, March 12, 2009

Public Transportation

Is excellent in Chile. Everyday my siblings and I take the bus to school, which costs roughly $400 one way depending on where you´re going. We also take it to get wherever we want to go since Mama y Papa work all day.
When I got here, I called the bus el bus, but the Chileans created another name for it as they do for so many other things. El Micro. The Micro is an adventure every single time. It begins by you standing outside, you can get on the bus at any point on the road all you have to do is stick your finger out liek you´re point at something. All the conductors have a preference for driving, but the norm is for them to go a million miles per hour without caring about the comfort of the passengers. It´s like they´re in a Nascar race or trying to drive away from a Tsunami. You need to hold on for dear life since there are no seatbelts and if you don´t, when they turn around the corner you will fall on the floor. When you pay for the bus, the conductor does it while he is still driving, stickshift. While he´s coming up with your change you ending up watching the road for him. They also have the same system ticket checking system as Europe. You don´t have to buy a ticket, but if the police come on and ask for it and if you don´t have one then you get a large fine so it´s better to just buy it in the first place.

Today, I had a very interesting ride to school. I knew it was going to be good when the micro pulled up and the outside had all these special lights. The driver most have watched a lot of Pimp My Ride because he had certainly pimped out his bus. The inside had all these neon lights instead of the awful fluorescent ones. There were air fresheners hanging from the ceiling all over the place and he had installed a crazy sound system that blasted Reggaeton and Hip-Hop, keep in mind it was 7 o´clock in the morning, and had synchronized red, blue, and white lights around the bus. My sister was mortified when I told the conductor that I liked his bus and started calling it the fiesta micro and bobbing my head to music. I want to take that bus to school everyday.

There are also buses that go long distances like the one I took from Santiago to Viña. They look like ants from the outside because the mirrors that are normally on the side of the car extend in front like antennas. The buses are also nicer than the Decamp ones we have at home. They all have TVs that play shows for your entertainment during the ride and depending on how full the bus is you have an assigned seat like and airplane.

P.S. The next day the fiesta micro happened to be running the same route again in front of our house. The conductor recognized us and asked for my name and phone number. He got a lie for the name and no answer for the phone number.

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