Friday, March 4, 2011

Aquí estoy … con micros

So, a couple of you have asked what combis and micros are and how they work. Basically, as I understand it, micros are the public transport system of Lima. They’re buses, ish. The driver is called the chofer and the guy who collects the fares and yells out where the micro is going is the cobrador. There are lots of different lines and routes run by different companies (500 routes I hear). They do not have schedules or routes that you can look up, you go by the names of the main streets they pass which are painted on the side. Each one has a route but they don’t always follow it exactly depending on traffic and the whim of the chofer. They are differentiated by color, number or endpoints which are painted on the front. I have now successfully gotten myself to and from school on two different micros and I even recognize a lot of the route now.

When I said buses-ish, I meant that they are like a bus system but they’re not all actually buses. There are three main sizes: buses (think coach bus), coasters (pronounced coosters), and combis (think vw van size). They’re all different makes and models. I’ve even seen some school bus micros. But I have to say the funniest one was the ice cream truck shaped one. It actually made me crack a smile on the micro when I usually have my game face on.

Hasta la próxima.

Lots of micros in an Ovalo. (Pardon the bad picture, I was trying to take a picture of moving buses from a moving bus at night)

One of the big bus sizes ones.

A coaster

School bus micro!

(Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the ice cream truck micro. Or the combi sized ones. They're fast. They get away.)
PS: If you are further interested in reading more by someone more knowledgeable than me, check this out.

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