I live in Managua, work in Veracruz and take the bus from and to the Huembes terminal nearly every day. To get there I ride the Tipitapa bus that passes by the closest stop from my house. I have been taking this route for about a year and a half. And so far I have lived to tell the tale.
While most days are gratefully boring, there have been a few things I won’t forget. Here’s a breakdown of what I have seen:
62 people giving speeches before asking for money
1 loud argument between a money asker and a very religious lady
54 near misses with other vehicles
1 near miss that sent a girl flying into the front of the bus while holding her baby
4 times pulled over be the cops
1 drunk pandillero whipped with a belt by another pandillero while a policeman looked on from his seat
2 drunks kicked off (both for making rude advances on women)
1 phone pickpocketed (mine)
8 dogs, 4 chickens, 1 pig, 1 turkey
125 people on a bus built for 52
Keep in mind I am not including things I have experienced on rural buses in Nicaragua (I would have to include iguanas, parrots and riding on the roof). While somewhat out of the ordinary for most folks on their daily work route, it’s really not more surprising than what I used to see on public transit in the United States.
Well, I never saw anyone carrying a live turkey on the bus in the US.
But two hours of transit round trip in a public bus for $0.80 vs. $15 in a private taxi? I’ll take the bus, thanks.
(This post was written on my phone while riding the bus.)