Friday, January 23, 2009

Peruvians have Weak Stomachs, Or Bus Bathrooms are Dangerous

For the past two days we have more or less been on a bus. We started off in the back of a small bus where a mom was trying to squish herself and her three children into one seat and we were squished into the remaining three seats with another guy. After stopping for two hours to wait out some construction, we asked to switch with his much smaller wife and son. I am glad we did since one of those three children in the back seat ralphed halfway up the mountain. This seems to be a developing trend on our bus rides: children ralphing into plastic bags, which their parents throw out the windows into the gutter which is littered with bags of ralph...
From The Trip, pt. 2: Mountains to Lima
From The Trip, pt. 2: Mountains to Lima

From The Trip, pt. 2: Mountains to Lima

Another developing bus ride trend: Peruvians´ bizarre and varied taste in bus ride movies. So far their selection has ranged from Police Academy I to The Condemned to Little Man...

I made the mistake of trying to use the bathroom while our second bus tore around Andean turns with amazing centripetal force. I careened to the bathroom door which had to be wrenched open with maximum strength, then proceeded to almost fall out of the wide open bathroom window as we took another turn... but I lived to tell the tale.

After eating some pollo frito and waiting for our collectivo taxi to fill and staring down some disconcertingly curious children, we took off on yet another mind-boggling ride, barreling through the darkness, swerving between lanes, passing cars on blind turns, no seat belts to be found, the driver trying to hang his sunglasses from his air freshner with both hands (!), as we hung out over the nothingness that probably would have been a great view in the daytime but was too abyss-like for comfort at night. Finally we arrived safe and sound in Chachapoyas, Land of the Cloud People, a pretty colonial town in the cloud forest. Tomorrow we are hoping to hike out to some pre-Incan ruins that supposedly rival the Macchu Pichu. More harrowing public transportation surely awaits.
From The Trip, pt. 2: Mountains to Lima

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