This afternoon I got off work and went to wait for my bus. It was starting to sprinkle and I was anxious for the bus to arrive. I finally saw one coming that I’m sure said Antigua on it. I’m sure it did. I jumped on and after a couple minutes the helper came to collect money. I asked for Antigua and he said no. This bus does not go to Antigua.
The bus came to a halt and I got off with some other women. I assumed this spot in the middle of nowhere was a bus stop. The other women climbed up the hill, to her home no doubt. I stood by the side of the road and waited.
Cars kept coming by and they were giving me funny looks – like it was kind of weird to see this white girl hanging out on the side of the road. At least one guy started slowing down like he was going to stop. I ignored him. I don’t even take rides from strangers in Seattle!
Finally I saw the right bus coming. I waved at it as it sped on by. Apparently I was not actually at a bus stop. Crap! I had no idea where the next stop was, since nothing is marked, so I started to walk. Up a huge hill around a sharp curve. And it began to pour rain.
I was really getting looks now. Guys on the side of the road and people driving by were saying things (I have no idea what) and whistling. I was in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but cornfields for as far as I could see, no sign of a town or anything. This could be a bad thing.
I kept looking back as I heard vehicles, hoping to flag down a bus. I looked back at one point and saw a police truck approaching. I’m sorry to say this didn’t make me feel better. Just this morning one of the students at my house was saying that violence is growing in Guatemala, and the police aren’t quite as corrupt as they used to be. They drove by and parked on the side of the road ahead of me. They were helping out some motorist. I walked by and kept on going.
I finally came to a possible bus stop. A concrete pad with four wooden posts and a corrugated metal roof. Good enough. I stood there hoping this thing was actually a bus stop (and praying like crazy!).
Then the police truck came by again. They pulled up right in front of me and rolled down the window. One of them (there were three) asked where I was going. I told them I was just waiting for the bus to Antigua. They nodded and paused for a moment, talked amongst themselves. Then they drove forward and backed up next to the bus stop. I thought they were just going to turn around and go back the way they came, but the driver switched off the engine. I just stood there like I knew what I was doing and there was no trouble at all. Best not to freak out until things really do get crazy.
Then the driver rolled down his window and told me there was a bus coming. I looked down the road, and sure enough! And it was even the right bus! I jumped on and shouted thanks to the policemen. And thanks to God as well!!
I settled onto the bus and looked around at the usual icons and signs: bugs bunny, winnie the pooh, and Jesus. And this great photo of a yellow school bus with about two dozen LED lights set into it that were flashing to the beat of the music.