Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 7 - Mini-Bus

In a bus crammed with mostly Cholitas, I am lucky enough to have found a seat. On my way to meet a family that may potentially be the subjects to this documentary I'm here researching. My nerves are swimming with relief that the search may be over and the hard work begins. The miners have blocked the entire city from anyone getting in due to national protests, so the mini bus I'm riding in has to take an alternative route. The older Cholita next to me is watching me closely as I scribble away in my notebook. Even if I was writing in quechua or spanish she probably wouldn't be able to read my scratchy cryptic cursive. The door is wide open. As we hit the incredibly sharp turns, going up hill through these very narrow colonial streets, it feels as if the bus is about to collapse into the road. On a good day, the people are kind to me and this is one of those good days. The Cholita next to me exclaims with a mix of quechua and spanish to each person that squeezes onto the bus "sit here! on my my bag, on the ground. Sit here, it's okay!" I've received a few compliments on the only sweater I've brought on this trip and wear every day. "My mom made it!" I say proudly. People continue to cram onto the bus and push softly against one another in order to get through. A few moments later, a woman from the back exclaims, "I need to get off on the next block!" The entire bus bursts into sighs, murmurs and laughter because. The impossibility of this poor person exiting the with any kind of ease will be challenging. An elderly man and myself are the only ones with a handkerchief as we blow our noses on this cool Potosi morning. A small boy stares at me through the corner of his eye in disbelief as people continue to pile on and off the bus. If I was to guess, I'm sure he's thinking "why the hell didn't this gringo just take a taxi?" But I may be wrong.

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