Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ya no conozco

OK, so for the last two days I’ve been in Punta Hermosa trying to learn to surf (mostly just thrashing myself against the waves, but trying nonetheless).

Anyways, within a 36 hour period I took a bus from Ica towards Lima and then back from Punta Hermosa (30 minutes south of Lima) to Ica.  For those of you that aren’t up on commercial transport in the South Coast of Peru there is one company that dominates this route: Soyuz.

Soyuz Bus has departures every 6 minutes to Lima from Ica and vice-versa.  Considering that it is a 4.5 hour trip, they must have a minimum of 40-50 buses in the fleet just to maintain that route.  Well, somehow I managed to get the exact same bus coming and going.  The same bus, the same driver, the same ayudante, and yes the same damn movies!

I Spy and The Last Samurai, plus a 20 minute Soyuz infomercial played at top volume twice in the span of less than two days.  Yes, it was as pleasant as it sounds.

Owen Wilson almost managed to make Tom Cruise likable in the second end of our twin bill.  Eddie Murphy was going through the motions, collecting his paycheck, and playing a less-funny Chris Tucker.  And even Famke Jansen was starting to look a little bit long in the tooth!  Sad days indeed.

Even curiouser than riding the same bus twice (at no better than 2.5% odds), the ayudante let me ride for 3 hours without paying anything, even going so far as to protect me against the ticket-takers that get on for 5 minutes at the side of the road and cross-check the sales numbers.  Then, when we were almost scott-free home (in Pisco) he asked for some change and gave me a ticket.  And while I liked saving 7 or 8 soles off the cost of my bus ticket, I really wished he hadn’t gotten my hopes up for riding the Soyuz KC Jones-style…


In Peru, Thursday and Friday before Easter are "dias feriados". Religious and national holidays where most people don't work. Today (Saturday) is not and so I rushed back from the beach to make sure everyone was doing their job at the Caja. In the grand American tradition, of course it would make more sense to give Friday/Saturday off (or even Thursday-Saturday) and have a real long holiday weekend. Peru chose not to do that. Fine, but let work go on as usual Saturday. What I can't deal with is the post office closing more than 2 hours early on the non-feriado day b/c they feel like it. Aaaaaaaaargh!


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