8 Things You Will Encounter During Bus Travel in South America

13 Mar

False. No one is this happy before taking a bus.

1) Reggaeton Recliner– Let me preface this by saying if you are over six feet tall you ‘re fucked. South America is best enjoyed at around 5’9” There will always be a guy who sits down in the seat in front of you and immediately without hesitation or regard for knee caps and menisci will recline as far as he can go. He then usually puts on absurdly loud Reggaeton, Salsa, or Cumbia and pretends not to feel taps on his shoulders.

2) Narcoleptic Recliner– This is a variation of number one, but equally as annoying. This person arrives on the bus and apparently hasn’t slept in months because they immediately recline their seat, fall asleep and begin snoring within seconds. Now maybe this person has just finished back-to-back marathons and has asthma and is narcoleptic and I am too harsh in my judgment. Or maybe they are inconsiderate slobs. Is it even possible to sleep for 16 hours straight without coming down from an acid trip? Do every one a favor and take a quick nap before the bus, snore it up all you want, and then just sit there and stare straight forward like every one else.

3) Segal– Are you a fan of Steven Segal? No? Then you’re fucked. Be prepared to watch at least one and more likely 900 Segal movies. From his memorable role as Jonothan Cold in “Black Dawn” to his striking performance as Harlan Banks in “Today You Die,” Segal sizzles on the small, blurry, and often cracked monitor. Groggy bus passenger audiences sit captive watching his ponytail flail about as he nonchalantly karate chops helpless goons from Rio to Bogota. One time a Sarah Michelle Gellar movie came on, and a man in the front of the bus punched the driver for treason. Segal is king.

4) Balls Cold– If you own Arctic commando fatigues, you are in luck. If you have ever trained to survive sub-zero temperatures then you will be well suited for bus travel in South America. Apparently there are no such things as knobs to control temperature on buses here. The bus temp always hovers around the more reasonable ‘balls cold,’ to ‘cryogenics cavern cold.’ Just pray the trip is under 20 hours, if not, you will be dealing with respiratory illness and or frostbite. According to NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) 24 people die in the U.S. every year from issues related to the cold. Last year in South America, 7,000 people died from cold buses and lack of blood circulation due to insufficient legroom. That is a made up fact, but seriously bring a hoody.

5) Anytime Minutes– Someone in your near vicinity will either dial or receive close to 500 cell phone calls. They will have an obnoxiously loud ring tone and will wait until the last possible ring to pick up. The conversations always have something to do with how slow the bus is going and what time they may or may not arrive. Look, we are all on the same terrible bus ride, text your mom or loved one when you are close. We’ll get there shortly barring any horrific accident involving high speeds and sketchy roads… oh wait.

6) Move Bitch Get Out the Way!– One of the most popular practical jokes in South America is to take a big clumsy bus with bad suspension, drive it 100 miles per hour in pouring rain over steep, curvy mountain roads while passing cars on blind corners. Don’t worry, all drivers in South America have watched Tokyo Drift at least three times, you’re in good hands. Sure, it’s pretty frightening for the entire duration of the trip, but once you arrive at your destination you exchange clammy high fives and nervous laughter with the driver. It’s really just a great joke.

7) Gnarly Food Decisions– Bring food and water like you are preparing for a long winter full of earthquakes. While some bus companies provide a luke warm, unidentifiable entrée, the majority will only stop once at the finest dimly lit roadside shack. If you have never tried a cold doughy ball full of raw chicken and old cheese, this is your chance. If you are a brave and self-proclaimed “foodie” then by all means go ahead, but be prepared to visit a farmacia or bano within the next several hours. Oh yea, and good luck with the bathroom. Some buses don’t even have one; others do but never have toilet paper, and some inexplicably read, “For urinating only.” My advice is a big bag of Doritos, yogurt and water.

8) Elbow Battler– If you are traveling solo, chances are someone is going to sit next to you. The best you can hope for is a small girl that doesn’t say anything or move the whole trip. This never happens. You will most likely receive some heavily scented man with a Napoleon complex who swears he needs just as much room as someone twice his size. Dude, I swear I’m not trying to be a dick, I just need a little more leg and shoulder room than you, its just how I’m built. Please stop battling me for elbow position and using every bump in the road as an opportunity to encroach on my already tiny seat.

That's more like it.

3 Responses to “8 Things You Will Encounter During Bus Travel in South America”

  1. Zoe March 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Nostalgia.

  2. alexsglob March 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Flawless and hilarious, as usual 🙂

  3. BillyIdiot March 14, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    If you’re traveling by bus in South America… you’re fucked,.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: