In the last 24 hours I've experienced enchantment on the most pedestrian of public transports: the bus.
The first occured in the late evening after a tango class. Across from the bus stop was a filigreed doors and windows, multi-storied, creamy stucco confection topped by statues that was A SCHOOL. An ordinary public school, though the facade was anything but. Buenos Aires is full of surprises like that.
But the night was not over. My bus pulled up and it was like a scene from a surrealistic film ... the doors opened and I was greeted by heavy metal music in super stereo, blue neon lights, quilted doors and interior, pimped out dashboard, dice and ribbon streamers hanging from the rear-view mirror, and to top it all off, a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. I almost expected mist to come curling out the door. To say it was atmospheric is an understatement.
This bus was the driver's universe and he was making damn well sure it was a good one. He may be stuck driving us peons around but he was THE KING of his domain.
"Nice bus," I commented as I boarded this street fantasy.
"No entendo," he replied.
My next bus happening occured on a rush hour bus--a insane time to have to take public transort. I asked the driver to alert me to my stop after showing him the address, but in the meantime I got pushed back to the middle of the bus by the boarding hoard.
In a bit of a panic, I wondered how I'd ever know when to exit the bus.
Then I heard a relay of Spanish voices, starting from the front of the bus and ending with the woman next to me.
"Your stop is the next one," she said in English.
How cool was that?
I had became a collective bus project ... get the clueless gringa off at her stop. And the relay of info during a rush hour crush was ... genius!