Ok, this story is really long, but I promise it’s good. My crazy micro ride home today:
First off, it was rush hour, which, like anywhere else, means lots of traffic and lots of harried people. I had to wait for awhile at la Catolica then finally got on the right micro and sat down. As we were going, the cobrador kept telling more and more people to get on, more got on than got off and soon all the seats were filled and there were 2 lines of people standing. There had to have been at least 10 people standing, and this wasn’t even one of the big busses.
Then, we got to a corner where a lot of people were standing. Way more than usual, I don’t know why. So the cobrador got off and stood on the corner, yelling the streets we were going to and telling people to get on. (They do this all the time but this guy was particularly adamant) He stood too long yelling and we missed the traffic light. People in the back of the bus started yelling at the driver to get going, saying that they had paid their fare, now they wanted to get where they were going so get moving. (More or less, possibly in less kind words) The cobrador keeps calling out, despite people telling him to get back on. So then, a passenger from the back gets off and gets in the face of the cobrador. Apparently he was unhappy with the micro and wanted to leave but wanted his fare back. The cobrador didn’t want to give it to him so the passenger wouldn’t let the cobrador back on the micro, thus causing us to miss the light again and have to sit through another cycle. (Of all the road rules they ignore, Peruvians actually follow traffic lights)
At this point the driver is yelling at the cobrador to get back on, the passengers are yelling in general and at the driver to just go and leave the cobrador, the crazy man is still blocking the cobrador and all the cars and micros stuck behind us are yelling and blaring their horns. And through all of this, more and more people from this corner are getting on the micro until literally, no one else can fit. Finally the cobrador gives the man back his fare (1 sol, 1 sol people! All this over 1 sol) and we go on but the micro is stuffed to the gills. When it’s finally my stop I almost miss it because I had to push though everyone. All in all it was a little bad, a little interesting and a lot just get me off this micro. I got home fine, no one fought (I really thought they were going to)
At least the good news is that I successfully related this story to my host mom in Spanish.
Hasta la próxima (ojala sin micro!)
PS: I want to know what kind of gas mileage these micros get. It’s got to be awful with all their stopping and starting and cutting each other off and slamming on their brakes. For that matter, I wonder how fast they wear out their brakes because they definitely are not of the speed up and slow down slowly to save wear on your car school of thought.