Monday, March 09, 2009

The Promised Bus Trip Downtown...

Here it is, in all it's glory:
Each week, on Wednesdays, our class goes on an "outing."  We have gone to: a large park, a look out area, an ice cream shop, the Pancho Villa house/museum, pay a bill, and a few trips downtown.  Usually we (meaning "they" as I don't drive here) take turns driving to the locations, but last Wednesday the "outing" included riding the city bus downtown.  We picked it up down the street from the school and rode about 20 minutes until we got downtown.  Here we are at the bus stop:
Remember Yoshi? This is where she really works--taking the four of us girls around town!  Here she's demonstrating the appropriate way to show the bus driver that she does not want his bus.

There are quite a few routes around town for the buses, so we wanted to make sure we got the right one.  Otherwise we would have a lot of walking to do!  We learn a lot of culture on our outings.  Can you tell we're at the bus stop?  There are some "official" bus stops with benches around town, but I noticed the bus driver would pull over for anyone who waved their arm at him.  (Note to self: this must be why many cars don't drive in the right lane...)  One time a lady got on the bus, and less than 40 feet later, the bus driver stopped to pick up a guy that wanted on.  Here Rebecca and I are riding the bus:
Can you tell what restaurant we are in?

My favorite part of going downtown is that I get to get a hamburger!  There are really nice bathrooms at this restaurant, so I "take one for the team" and buy a hamburger so the ladies can go to the bathroom.  It's in a busy part of downtown, so they only allow customers to use the bathroom.  I'll gladly eat beef for the team! :-)
This week the burger was to go!
The avenue we walk down is full of small and larger stores, and little stores where you can buy nachos, corndogs, chips, and drinks.  

This was towards the end of our trip downtown as we waited to catch the bus home.  
Yoshi gave us a list of four or five buses that would bring us back to our corner where we got on the bus.  We got on the first one that came through...
Here I am on the bus, as we passed a Pemex gas station.  My favorite directions here include, "Turn at the Pemex."  Think of your local gas station chain that is on practically every corner for a radius of 5 miles.  That's our Pemex.  "Turn at the Pemex" leaves a lot of ambiguity!

So that bus we got on for the trip home?  Well, it did get us home, and it was on the list of buses that would get us home.  But it took the longest route.  We got home about an hour or so after we got on the bus.  We got to see a lot of people get on the bus, watch the bus empty out completely, and get a few more customers.  The bus driver had a good laugh when he realized where we wanted to go!  He was very good natured, and wanted to know what we were doing in Chihuahua.  He stopped the practically empty bus to get himself a water, and one of our ladies yelled, "Por favor! Quiero un refresco!" (Please! I want a soda!)  She ran off the bus after him.  The four of us on the bus were laughing, as were the three Mexicans riding on the bus with us.  She later told us that he was confused about who was paying for her drink!  She just didn't want to get left behind when he was done buying his water.  

In all, we had a great cultural event and got to see a lot of people interacting.

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