I’m going to write this while I’m still riding high on a wave of excitement of catching the right bus. I have been staying with a friend recently in a different district than before, while the school I work at are lending the house I usually live in to some new teachers. While I know this district (Barranco) quite well the public transport has been a bit of a mystery, so I have been walking to a from friends’ houses and school, not wanting to shell out for taxis. I have been trying to work out which is the right bus to get for a couple of weeks, but as in Lima all the buses are run my individual companies, with different destinations scrawled on the side in bright colours, it can be slightly overwhelming, especially when you have to stick your arm out in front a squealing truck as it screeches to a holt.
Anyway, today I was dropped off my some lovely Peruvian teachers from school, in a district where I had never been, while they pointed my vaguely in the right direction, I was then stranded, the only gringo in Surquillo. I set off in the right direction and suddenly I saw a bus that I recognised would almost certainly go straight past my new apartment, it is yellow with waves on it. I had to run to catch it before the lights changed, but hopped aboard and checked with the driver we were heading towards Barranco. It felt pretty good to finally be on the bus that I knew would take me home, while it took about 40 minutes in Lima traffic, we slowly started to pass all the landmarks that I have come to know. It’s silly but I felt a great sense of accomplishment, sitting there in the blaring sun next to a sleeping Peruvian man playing criollo music from his little LG flip phone. With a combination of gathering information for a couple of weeks, asking for directions and having confidence in my own knowledge I feel I have now become a master of Peruvian buses!
Amelia Steele – Lima