Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: August 25 Silvia's Log

Check it out! Riding the buses in Mexico can be an experience!

The 45-minute bus ride I take to Casa Alianza each morning gives me time to wake up and watch how lively the city is so early! Starting with the bus itself, the experience is colorful and noisy! The "pesero" bus is gray and green and the route names are painted on the entire left-hand side of the windshield in different colors! At night there's a lightbulb behind the sign that makes the letters look fluorescent in the dark! I catch a pesero just outside the house, and the loud radio starts making my senses react to what's around me. I've noticed in amazement that the women put their make-up on during the bumpy ride, and I wonder how much practice they've had to not smear that liquid eyeliner when we hit speed bumps!

Trivia!I've watched a girl curl her eyelashes by rubbing the underside of a metal spoon across them lengthwise- could it be static electricity that makes it work? Almost all of the women, young and old, wear nail polish.

Some people snooze during the ride and mysteriously wake up just in time to jump off at their destination. The pesero doesn't make a complete stop either, so you have to keep your balance to not fall off and be able to swing out the door graciously.

The sidewalks are overflowing with the vendors that set up stalls all along them. You name it and you'll find it, car parts, slippers, candy, drinks, clothes, and lots and lots of food. Their divisions and roofs are wire separations covered in plastic in case it rains, as there's oftentimes an afternoon shower. Their goods for sale are neatly lined up in impeccable rows, which they must take down and rearrange every day. What patience. They get to be outdoors and watch people all day, but they also swallow a lot of exhaust fumes.

"Panaderias" (bakeries) seem to exist on every block, and people buy their breakfast there. I counted over 30 different types of bread creations in one just this afternoon- plain or filled, sweet or salty, small or large, shiny or covered with seeds, flat or bloated…. so many to choose from! You take a metal tray and prongs, and walk around grabbing whatever you want from the warm-smelling mounds until you find your way to the cashier. One of the guys in Hogar Aragon where I live with Casa Alianza is studying to be a baker; tomorrow's his final exam. I'll ask him to bake something for all of us while I'm here.

Trivia!The children walking to school wear uniforms. Even at most public schools the girls wear plaid skirts, sweaters, and knee-high socks, while the boys wear trousers and a sweater. They look so serious and handsome!

I've seen lots of dogs barking down from rooftops. They can see everything from up there I imagine. What could they be thinking of the crowds hustling and bustling so early?

On my first pesero ride I was afraid I'd miss my stop because at times it gets so crowded that I couldn't even see out the window if I didn't have a seat. Now I know to look for the bright colors of Casa Alianza, bright yellow walls with blue tiles and red-rimmed arched windows. The smiling guard at the wrought-iron gate is a happy face to see after my long pesero ride.

Buenos dias!

-Silvia

Related Dispatches: 
Silvia - Check it out! Riding the buses in Mexico can be an experience!
Sylvia - Home Sweet Home - 14 Housemates, a House Educator, a Cocinera (Cook), and a Husky


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