Riding the bus is always an adventure. Every bus is different depending on the size, the types of seats, and most importantly, the people. We ride a bus on a fairly regular basis, so I have gotten pretty good at knowing what to expect.
We start by sitting at the respective bus stop and waiting. We wait and wait and wait and wait. We play with the kids, eat a bag of Doritos, practice Spanish, and right around the time I start singing the “siempre esperando” (always waiting) song, the bus arrives. If it is a Jumandy bus, we will NOT get on. This is a teal and yellow bus with red curtains on the windows. It looks inviting, but it is never safe. It is as if all the bus drivers who got fired from the normal buses are allowed to go work for Jumandy. They speed down the road, passing whenever they feel like, and leave me keeping my eyes closed the entire ride. Even if it means we wait some more, we will not get on a Jumandy bus.
If a good bus arrives we hop on and look for a seat. The man who takes the money will usually follow us back so that he can get his money right away. He will always give us a weird look when we hand him the exact change for where we are going and just shove it into his hand. They have a hard time believing gringas could be so experienced. Once situated, we turn our attention to the badly dubbed movie that is playing in front of us. It is almost always an action film with lots of blood and gore. If it isn’t then we can count on it being one of the “Fast and the Furious” movies. Some of the people around us will be watching, but most will be playing their music from their cell phones. The people here never use headphones. They must think that everybody else wants to listen to the music they are listening to.
The rest of the ride may be bumpy, or raining, or hot, or sometimes cold, but the scenery is always beautiful. The green forests around us never cease to amaze me. We will pass by a multitude of waterfalls, which are equally as breath taking. Bus riding is a part of living in Ecuador and that is just fine with me.
“Just remember: no matter where you go, there you are.”