The men, The men..what about the men...
The House Guest From Hell.....

When transit doesn't transit...

When I decided to move here, I decided to stop my pressure cooker life.  I think somehow in many ways I have managed to create it here in a different way.  I don't work 14 hour days any more, and I no longer make the big bucks.  But I still seem to be running, and I still never seem to sleep.

The last two days the subte was on strike.  Trying to get around Buenos Aires on a holiday weekend with no subte is worse than the 7:00 am lineup at the Bay Bridge.  It was the one time I missed take-out coffee.  At least in line at the Bay Bridge I could sip my Peets and eat my bagel while listening to either talk radio or CDs. Niether Peets nor bagels exist here. (Except in my freezer)

In line for the 152 I can do none of the above.  I suppose I could listen to tango if I had my MP3 player with me, but it never occurs to me to bring it.  I waited 20 minutes for this stupid bus.  Two went by so packed they did not stop.  I walk up to catch the 67, they run less than the 152 and so they are farther apart and just as packed.

I think about calling my student and cancelling.  Instead I text message him and tell him I will be late as the transit is a mess.  He knows this and tells me not to worry.  This is Argentina...being late is no big deal.  In fact being on time is a big deal.

I am getting frustrated.  I am tired from dancing the night before.  I must be crazy.  I am dancing until 4:00 am and then getting up at 9:00 am to go to teach English.  No wonder I am tired.  I decide to walk back to Paraguay and see if I can catch the 111.  This bus never seems to run when I want it.

I wait in front of the Disco supermarket.  In 10 minutes a packed 111 arrives.  I don't care.  I get on anyway.  I push my way to the middle of a packed bus.  This bus is supposed to go down Paraguay all the way.  Suddenly at Ecuador it turns.  The passengers all look at each other.

A man next to me asks if I know where the bus is going.  I shrug my shoulders and tell him I don't know.  He asks the woman next to me.  She doesn't know either.  We all look expectantly out the window.  This feels like the Sandra Bullock movie "Speed."  An out of control bus. 

The bus turns on Santa Fe.  Passengers start to jump ship.  They pound the buzzer and demand to be let off.  The driver stops.  I figure I am late already, I might as well take the ride.  Soon we turn back onto Paraguay.  A relief.  I get to my student..finally.  A 20 minute ride took almost 1.5 hours.

My class is one hour.  I now have to go home.  I am supposed to go to Acassuso on the train to teach my youngest students.  I wait another 20 minutes for either the 152 or the 111.  I am sick of this so I start to walk.  I walk about 15 blocks and then I catch the 12 bus.  This whole ordeal takes another 1.5 hours.

The thought of trying to get to Belgrano to get the train is more than I can bear.  I figure it will take me another 4 hours and then having to deal with overactive kids 4 and 6 years old is more than my tired head can bear.  I call and cancel.

I lay down on the bed to rest and contemplate another evening of dancing...and hopefully tomorrow when a subte will run...


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