Letter to the Ruta

Dear Ruta Urbana,

Thank you for getting me from here to there for only 12 cents a ride. I like how once upon a time you transported American kids to and from school, looking all generic in yellow and black. Here, in your second life, you can be painted a wide variety of festive colors, have streamers hanging off your sideview mirrors, have a bumpin’ sound system, and have Jesus stickers and various scripture verses adorning your walls.

not my picture, source here

You have truly converted yourself from a safe, relatively boring school bus into a rough and tumble city bus where more often than not there are not enough seats for everyone. Thank you for planning ahead for this – you put rails on the ceiling, sometimes 3 of them running parallel down the middle, just in case the people standing are 3 rows deep.

not my picture, source here

Sometimes you get me to where I’m going at a frightening speed, even racing other buses to get more passengers. Other times, you stop by the side of the road to let the driver get a drink of water because you are running ahead of schedule.

not my picture, source here

I’ve even had to learn your language:

  • Ruta means bus
  • Suave means slow down, someone is trying to get off/on
  • The nonsensical numbering of the routes
  • The special hand signal to get you to slow down and pick me up

Thank you for getting me to and from work everyday. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Regards,

M

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3 Comments on “Letter to the Ruta”

  1. Vap Says:

    Great piece! However, I am sorry to pop your bubble, but many of those buses are manufactured for such urban Latin American bus routes and are not recycled school buses.

  2. Jason Says:

    Suave, suave, suave! Da le, da le, da le!


  3. […] See my previous thoughts on riding buses in Managua here. […]


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