A ride on a Mexican bus is a special thing. For 65 pesos you get a lot of entertainment. I was going to the beach.
I stood in blazing heat, and asked, “Is this the bus to San Pancho, por favor?” And the driver who is blaring hip hop dance music while smoking despite the ‘non fumar” sign on the window nods and makes change. He chats with everyone especially all the lovely chicas getting on and off. The divider that separates him from the passengers has a picture of an unidentified Mexican saint and are a multitude of religious icons and things stuck to the dashboard.
At times it seems the suspension may be missing, for we bump along the potholed road with speed bumps every 100 meters.
A young lady in the seat ahead of me gets on all dolled up with enough make up in her many tote bags to do makeovers for everyone on the bus. At one stop, a man gets on and hands the lovely chica and the driver a beer. People get on and off every few blocks.
Then we stop and let a man who has crutches and one foot missing. Nothing is accessible in this country and the young driver respects him enough to get up and help him to his seat behind me. In a few seconds, the one- footed man begins to sing a haunting operatic ballad in Spanish. The young bus driver turns off the dance tunes and a hush comes over the bus. As he sings all the working women dig in their purses for a few pesos- no matter how poor people are they always give to a passed hat. And, I do the same. The man collects his fare and gets off at the next stop.
The dance music begins again and we all bounce up and down the rickety bus until another man with crutches gets on and we repeatthe same procedure.
The hour long bus ride will end up being nearly 90 minutes. But this is a Mexican bus.
A place where 65 pesos gets you a lot of livin’. And a 60 minute bus ride to the beach takes an hour and a half.
The Beach in the evening.
Thanks for the Memories Writing Workshop in Toronto
UPCOMING SHOWS: DOWNWARD FACING BROAD with musical guest, Kim Pollard.
SOME NICE THINGS THE AUDIENCE SAID ABOUT DOWNWARD FACING BROAD.
“Such a strong show, so funny, but that doesn’t nearly express it! Your skill and instincts created performance art, with pacing, space to breathe, changes in rhythm, Ms Pollard’s incredible work…we are hoarse from hootin’ and hollerin! 90 minutes that felt like a well-paced 50. Julia Bennett Snug Harbour Media.