Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Me and a collectivo driver in Palpa waiting for the car to fill up with passengers back to Rio Grande
How many PC Volunteers can you fit in a collectivo (7 in this case but you could add one more up front)

Collectivos are communal cabs for lack of a better word. They drive set routes at set points of departure and arrival and at set rates. You just go to the collectivo stand, hop in, wait for the taxi to fill up and you’re off. Collectivos are my main mode of transportation between my site and Palpa. All the collectivo drivers know me and holler at me when they’re driving by me walking around in the street “Beto – Vamos!”. When I’m waiting for the collectivo to fill up in Palpa to come back to Rio Grande, I bullsh*t with the drivers. They’re all pretty cool and friendly. “Habla Beto, quien sospechas?” (Tell me Beto – who do you suspect? I still haven’t figured out what the right response is so I just say “Tu huevon! You - *sshole!”). They’re always asking me if I’ve been to the “nightclubs” yet. Note to self – Nightclub means brothel. Discoteca means dance club.

The larger collectivos are station wagons, not the large 70’s family truckster variety but smaller ones. There are also tiny Tico taxis which are about the size of a Ford Festiva, maybe a little smaller. Usually four people pile into the collectivo before it will leave. Sometimes there are two passengers up front and three in the back. One time I was in a Tico going back to Rio Grande with nine people.

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