Friday, October 26, 2007

When Toasters Fly...

I haven't seen a toaster (or a microwave come to think of it) in more than two months, but today I saw a sardine can on wheels.

On a day like today, after it's been raining for 3 days and considering the present condition of road construction, it likely would have taken us three hours to travel from Jacaré to Candelaria (look these places up on Google Earth, they are not that far). But what would take three hours by omnibus (bus) managed to take about 20 minutes by sardine can (Metro Train).

Story: We (Heather, Lisa, and I) arrived at the Metro station and the train approached. It was covered by an advertisement like the Lubbock Citybusses in such a way that we couldn't even see through the windows. When the doors slid open, we looked at each other and groaned, "Uh oh." Somehow we managed to squeeze in among the mass of people and it wasn't too bad.

Three stops later we are at the main station terminal. Everyone exists to get on the next train which will take us downtown. We can see into this one as it pulls to a stop. It's worse. People were practically falling out as the doors slid open. I force my body in. Heather's not so sure we can all fit. I hold the door as one might hold an elevator door and say "come on." It's really tight. We can't move. The man behind Heather and I needs off at the next stop. As he tried to move, I try to fill the area his body previously occupied. It's like human tetris.

Next challenge, we don't know which side of the train the doors will open on when it gets to our stop. Only two stops left. Should we force ourselves to the other side of the train or should we stay put? What to do? So I attempt to speak to the friendly looking man beside me (I think he's friendly because he chuckled as I rolled my eyes trying to board the train). In Portuguese I say, "You Know Door." Pathetic, I know. In our broken Portuguese, his broken English, and only one stop to go we manage to communicate which stop we want off on and he tells us which side. We wiggle a couple feet towards the other side of the train and push our way out.

As the train is pulling away, we turn around to bid it farewell and observe just how full each car is.

Everybody knows the train is reliable during the rainy season, EVERYBODY.

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