You Want To Die Now — Or Later?

Forget spending money on adrenaline rushes like skydiving, mountain climbing or roller coasters. In Lima, for only one sol (~$0.30) you can take a ride in a micro bus, a thrilling ride that may end where you are going — or at your last destination.

Almost daily, you hear about people dying in accidents with micro buses. And why? Because the drivers operate their vehicles like twelve-year-olds on their first joyride. They pack up to 20 people into a small minivan, then drive from stop to stop taking the curves on two wheels and barely missing the other cars on the road. Forget stopping for pedestrians, in Lima the cars always have the right of way. You either jump out of the way — or (don’t) live with the consequences.

Call me crazy, but I’m one of the few people who loves riding the micros. You have to jump on and off while the vehicles are still moving. If you don’t get a seat, you have to stand hunched in the low-ceilinged van with your back in a knot while hanging onto the railing for dear life. And try not to fall. Because with all the sudden starts and stops, you’re thrown around like a squash ball in the tight space. All the while listening to cheesy Latin music on the radio, and incessant honking all the vehicles your micro almost hit. Whoever has the boldest driving style wins.

But just the same, I’m always happy when I finally reach my stop. Not so much for having made it there alive, but because I can finally unfold my back, push all the joints back into the position they are supposed to be, and stretch.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lola
    Sep 24, 2011 @ 00:46:27

    Are you entirely sure, these crazy guys can compete with the Bus drivers from Lagos, Nigeria. We have all the experience of the microdrivers plus most of the drivers are on some cheap gin very early in the morning so they seize any opportunity to harass their passengers and some have been known to stop right in the middle of the road with other cars honking, ask you to disembark cos they do not intend to stop at your stop which is the next Bus-stop cos the driver just decided on a whim to take another direction to your final destination! and they even call out to passengers at the same time still blocking the middle of the road and manage to zoom off before a policeman gets them. Its just the craziest thing in the world! and like your microbuses, they have managed to dispose of countless souls to the beyond by flying into the river across the bridge cos the brakes failed, run into on-coming vehicles from recklessly overtaking and finally we call them DANFO’s and the really big ugly ones that are being luckily faced away MOLUE’s. If you listen to Fela real good, you would have picked up these beasts of no nation from one of his tracks.

    Lolade

    Reply

    • lifeinlima
      Sep 24, 2011 @ 10:53:40

      They should have a contest with the craziest microbus drivers in the world. Who would win – the Nigerians or the Peruvians? Love your comment. You’re a great writer!

      Reply

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