Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Tico Trauma

Am on a bit of a high at the moment... you know the kind when you walk down the street grinning like the Cheshire cat... I just took a 'colectivo' taxi into town by myself for the first time. I always have a real fear of public transportation when abroad, and Peru has the dodgiest transportation system I have seen outside India. I can't help but think I am going to end up somewhere I do not wish to be - or worse - do not recognise. Also, the 'colectivos' of Chiclayo are really not luxury transportation. Here is the procedure for catching one:

1) Walk out to the main road, stand anywhere along it that you like.
2) White vans, enormous old rusty Dodges, and small Japanese made cars called 'Ticos' will sail past bawling their destinations out the window and wildly gesticulating.
3) If one is going to your destination, flag it down and hop in (easier said than done - they are pretty stuffed).
4) Feverently hope the man crushing in next to you in the tiny front seat of the Tico will not touch your bum (much).
5) Tell the driver when you want to get out (all the colectivos follow a basic route).
6) Give the driver 50 centimos (7 pence) and jump out, risking life and limb, at a major intersection downtown.

See this is where I know you are much braver than me.
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