Back from Mexico City

In Mexico time is treated a lot differently than in the States. Sunday we went to a meeting that was supposed to start at 2pm and end at 5pm. The main speaker didn’t start talking until around 5:30. What struck me as odd was the fact that there was no way they could have fit everything in that they were trying to do and still met their schedule—even if they had of started on time. It is almost as if one group of people got together and decided when the meeting would start and end and another group got together and decided what they thought would be good to put into the meeting and neither group talked with each other to see if their plans were aligned.

On the way back to Durango many people were asleep or talking quietly. All the lights were out. Someone who had a camcorder decided that everyone would benefit from seeing his home movie of everyone eating breakfast. He got one of the bus drivers to plug his camera into the bus audio video system and started playing the video, but because of the way it was hooked up there wasn’t any volume control and it was very loud and woke a bunch of people up. He finally turned it off and everyone cheered – waking even more people up.

Got on the bus around 7pm and made it back to Durango around 11am on Monday. I think it is common to travel by bus at night like this, but I don't know that I'm cut out for it. I have a hard time sleeping on the bus. Although I did discover that I wasn't fully reclining my seat on the way down. I managed to get it to recline on the way back and it was much more comfortable. It also would have been better if we had taken some blankets. The temperature fluctuated a lot and much of the time we were cold. We had coats with us so it wasn't too bad, but I think we were sitting in the cold area of the bus. Other people kept wanting the air conditioning turned on while we were already freezing–usually most of the Mexicans prefer a much warmer temperature than what we like.

Around midnight we stopped at a large restaurant that was designed for bus tours. The restrooms were 2 pesos (about $0.20 USD) making them the most expensive restrooms I've seen so far, but they were also the cleanest public restrooms I've seen.

About 3 am, the bus slowed down in traffic, we weren't sure exactly what was going on. The bus driver woke up his co-worker who was asleep riding under the bus in the luggage compartment and had him run ahead to see what was going on. I turned out a semi truck with a double trailer had swerved slightly into the oncoming traffic and the second trailer had hit another truck. The double semi was carrying cases full of bottled beer. Since the truck was an open flat bed, there were beer bottles strewn all over the road. Most were broken, but there were bottles in the grass that were unharmed. The traffic was slow because of the accident and all the people who stopped to pickup the unbroken bottles of beer to take home.

The bus slowly crunched its way through the broken glass and continued to Durango. I was concerned that it might result in a flat, but the bus tires were in good shape and each one has a tube running to it that appears to be connected to an on board air compressor. There is a special connector in the center of the wheel that allows it to turn without twisting up the air hose. I think the bus automatically sends more air to tires if the pressure gets below a certain point.

Monday morning we asked the bus driver who was sleeping underneath the bus if it was hard to sleep because of all the bumps. We had gone over a lot of pot holes and large speed bumps that seemed like that would have really thrown him around under there. He said he was on a mattress and was very comfortable. When we were unloading we discovered that our definitions of comfortable were probably quite a bit different. His mattress was just a few blankets on the bottom of the aluminum bus cargo area.I suppose if he was as tired as we were, he probably slept just fine.

When the bus was at the hotel the bus drivers slept in the luggage compartment for the week. I'm not sure where they took showers. Maybe the hotel has a shower area for bus drivers, but I didn't see one.

We had a good time trying to speak with people in Spanish on the bus, the people who speak a little English usually want to practice speaking English to us. It sounds kind of funny because we'll try to talk to them in Spanish and they respond in English. When we get stuck we revert to whatever language necessary, or ask someone who speaks English for help.

We spent most of Monday resting and we'll probably get some extra sleep on Tuesday as well.

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