Some things I love about travelling by bus in Colombia….

14 Oct

1.  On the bus people will sit next to you even if there is a double seat free somewhere else. This is strange for me.  At home a double seat is the desired choice..anything else is not only disappointing but a bit annoying, after all having paid for a seat why should have someone sitting next to you…On a packed train from Glasgow to Airdrie once upon a time had to ask a girl to move her flowers from a seat to give me one…this would NOT happen in Colombia.

2. On the bus the person next to you will chat to you.  This is strange for me.  At home, should I be unlucky enough to have to share my double seat with another passenger it would then be super unlucky if we had to chat rather than avoiding eye contact and pretending to super concentrate on listening to music!!! In Colombia it’s completely different…you have like this thing called a “conversation” with the person next to you..even though you don’t know the person, it’s a public setting and you might not ever see them again…at home this sort of thing would be plain embarrassing…

3. On the bus those entering at stops along the way say “Buenos dias” to those on the bus.  At home should I be unlucky enough to have other passengers entering the bus thus decreasing my chance of a double seat the last thing that that would happen would be that we would welcome them on the bus….madness this….and again plain embarrassing at home…

4. The bus can stop pretty much anywhere….it doesn’t need to be a designated stop…so people can get on in the middle of nowhere and off as well..at home the bus is only allowed to stop at designated stops…anything other than a designated stop would, of course, be madness…even if the next bus is an hour away….and the drivers at home seem to get joy out of only stopping at designated stops…the drivers in Colombia seem to be able to find happiness in other ways…how strange rather than finding happiness in others’ pain?

5.  You can take whatever you like with you onto the bus even if it is packed full…this makes travel a pleasure even with 2 backpacks and a charango…

6. People don’t frown at you when you have loads of bags on the bus…instead they chat to you..ask you where you are from and where you are travelling to..and of course ask if you have a violin in the music case….

7. When people ask where you are going to, it’s to help you with directions to there…not to follow you and steal your stuff….

8. The driver’s wife can bring him a cool drink and lunch and he is allowed to stop and pick it up and say hi to his family….at home this would, of course, be illegal and the driver wouldn’t be allowed to drink out of a glass on a bus..after all that is seriously dangerous in a vehicle even when the vehicle is stationary.

And a few things I don’t like….

1. The night buses are totally freezing…am still trying to work out why this is…is it to keep the driver awake??? Everyone sits with huge blankets…and am sure my minus 8 sleeping bag could be put to good use in this setting…

2. In the night buses they play some kind of Colombia cumbia music the entire night…again am still trying to work out why this is…is it to keep the driver awake again?????

So, when travelling by bus in Colombia the good outweighs the bad…I love bus travel in Colombia….

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