Monday, June 9, 2008

Living In Mexico - Where Did That Bus Driver Go?


Gringolandians, those living in Gringo enclaves, live such isolated and bizarrely separate lives from the Mexicans in the same town that they have on more than one occasion called me an absolute liar for the things I've reported happening in the Mexican city where I live.

One thing with which they take particular exception is what I've written about buses. I've reported the incidents in which I've been hit by buses as the result of being shoved off the dangerously narrow sidewalks in the city of Guanajuato. I also reported that two Mexican women from Puerto Vallarta, visiting Guanajuato for the first time, wrote to tell me they, too, were shoved off the sidewalk and narrowly avoided injury. I have reported numerous other cases in which gringos have been shoved off the crowded sidewalks by uncaring, fast walking youth who shove you to get around you and end up getting you hurt sometimes.

We learned of a lady, reportedly a Gringa, who was hit by a car while on the sidewalk here in Guanajuato. She was so severely injured she required emergency surgery to repair her crushed leg.

We learned just yesterday of a six-year-old girl who was run over and killed by a bus driver who was driving way too fast and wasn't able to stop in time to avoid her. The tragedy resulted in some extensive placements of what we in America would call "speed bumps" (in Spanish, topes) on this road to slow down all the recklessly fast traffic.

However, these Gringolandias living in Guanajuato's Gringolandia claim I am lying through my teeth when I report this information.

The fact is that the Mexicans driving these buses and, in some cases the cabs, are way too careless.

Now, here is some good fodder for the Gringolandians to have a meeting and discuss (they've actually had meetings about the articles I write-their lives must be so empty they need to have a meeting to discuss me!!).

My wife and were heading out to El Campo (the country) by bus to have dinner with some Expat friends. They are true expats. They are always so encouraging. Some of the stories they've told us about Mexican life in El Campo have also been labeled by Guanajuato's Gringolandians as yet more lies from my keyboard.

My wife and I were sitting directly in back of the bus driver. When he got to the halfway point between Guanajuato and where our friends live, he slowed the bus down. I cannot even guess what the speed was because I couldn't see. I thought he was going to pull off the road and onto the shoulder to let someone out. This happens all the time. Someone wants off just anywhere, so he or she tells the driver or his assistant where to stop.

Anyway, the bus driver suddenly leapt up from the seat, leaving the bus unmanned. He shouted something at his relief guy who, by the way, looked every bit of ten years old. Then, the bus driver jumped off the still-moving bus. The relief kid casually walked toward the front of the bus, but first stopped and asked this older woman where she wanted to depart the bus. He then crawled behind the steering wheel and sped up to finish the run. The bus was driverless for about thirty seconds (according to my wife-I was too stunned to count seconds) just moving along driverless.

The kid took over the bus, deposited us at our stop in the boondocks, and we stumbled down the lane to our friends' house.

They told us, when we related the story, they've seen this happen more than once.

Our friend usually begins screaming in her fluent Spanish at the drivers when they pull this stunt. Her husband doesn't scream but thanks the driver for not killing him today.

The point?

This stuff happens. How many must get hurt before the Gringolandians admit that living their make-believe existences, with their SUV's, shopping at the superstores, does not permit them to see this stuff. They rarely, if ever, ride the buses or walk the streets in the barrios.

Their logic: You've got to be lying, Bower. Since we've not seen or experienced it, it cannot have happened.

Just brilliant!

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