The contents of the blog are mine personally and do not reflect any positions of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Camioneta Chronicles II: The 7 People You Meet on the Camioneta

1. The Ayudante

  Your camioneta experience is invalid if there is no interaction with the ayudante. The Ayudante helps with your belongings (if he is nice) and collects your bus fare aka pasaje. Common phrases will include, "(insert destination name said rapidly multiple times)", "Pasaje por fa", "Corrense por atras", "Donde caben dos, caben tres", and "Servidos". Ayudates may be occasionally responsible for the musical selection on the camioneta, with musical choices ranging from 80’s and 90’s hits, bachata and duranguense.

2. The Beggar/ The Preacher
  The beggar/preacher can be found at any major bus stop or terminal. The beggar can range from having a sad unfortunate tale to a disfiguring ailment that prevents the individual from actual gainful employment. The preacher is usually an older evangelical man carrying a black briefcase with pamphlets on one of two causes why you should give to him, the orphaned children that need food and clothes or help the church because if you don't you will spend an eternal life in hell. 

3. The Vendor
  The vendor can quench your thirst, alleviate your hunger, heal your pain, cure your diabetes and provide you with the latest music and movies on the market. Some times you can find some good deals on household items, including tools and kitchen utensils. Some of my favorites include fruit in a bag, caramelized peanuts and coconut cream.

4. The Baby
  This little human being is usually being carried on their mothers back; some will be cute and irresistible. Be cautious when making funny faces not to make the child cry because it will be likely they will not stop. They are most irritating while crying.

5. The Drunk aka Bolo
  It is highly advised to stay away from this person. A bolo can be young or old, alone or accompanied by other bolo friends. There are two distinct types of bolos: the street bolo is usually soiled and beaten up; the party bolo is most likely accompanied by others and more belligerent than the street bolo. Bolos can be heard rambling or crying from sorrow and heartbreak. If they are too out of control they are likely to be thrown off the bus at any given moment.

6. The Good Citizen
  This can be a generous man or woman who can share a simple kind word, a piece of their fruit during a long ride or treat you to a gelatina (Jell-o) or ice cream. You can talk to this person the whole way or have short random conversations on the way to your destination about everything from where your from, what you do, how you like or don’t like living in Guatemala and why your not married. Their intentions are genuine; there are no ulterior motives or creepy vibes.  These people are hard to come by, but when they do they brighten up your day. 

7. The Pickpocket
    There is no general description of a pickpocket. He/she can be a man, woman, child, or a team of pickpockets. Some are better skilled than others. A word of advice learned early on is to spread it all around. Items commonly confiscated are wallets, loose bills and cell phones. A stupid pickpocket will answer the stolen phone and tell you that you should not expect to see it again. 

1 comment:

  1. LOVE your description of the types of people you'll find on the 'bus'. ;) Especially laughed about your description of "The Baby" - it is True - if you make ANY of them cry - it can get quite annoying - even in the US.

    The pickpocketer made me remember when my parents were first living in Africa - Dad had his arm propped on the door as he was driving thru town - with the window down. As quick as a flash - a pickpocketer grabbed his watch right off his arm - yes, While the car was moving! He quickly learned to keep his arm INSIDE the car. :)

    I'm so thankful God has allowed this opportunity for you! And, thankful you can see more than one side of the situation.

    Praying His love, grace and protection over you! Love and miss you!