Sunday, May 09, 2010

April 14 - 16 - Back to Oaxaca

It’s time to return to Oaxaca. I had considered taking a plane, but it would have cost over $600 American, and would have taken twenty-two hours. I didn’t have a clue how long the bus trip would take because the tickets would have to be purchased separately.
Brenda Lea, my almost personal cab driver since business was so slow, was late. As I sat on the steps of my hotel waiting, several cabs stopped and asked if I needed a taxi, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. To say the cab business in Belize City is competitive would be an understatement.
I thought one of the taxis that stopped told me Brenda Lea couldn’t make it and had sent him. I misunderstood, he said, “I’m here now,” which to him meant exactly that, to me, once I figured out what was going on, meant he was stealing her fare.
The clue to what he was up to came after I was in the cab and he had driven a hundred yards or so, when he asked me where I was going.
“Stop the cab,” I said
“Where are you going?” he asked again.
“I want out, stop the cab.” He slowed to a crawl, but didn’t stop. “I’m getting angry, stop the cab!”
He stopped. As I was pulling my bag out of the back seat, thank goodness it wasn’t in the trunk, he began moving again. “Let me get my bag out of the cab.”
As he drove off he used words too vulgar for me to write in this blog meant for general reading.
By now it was about 10:40, and my bus was leaving at 11 am. Brenda Lea should have been at the hotel at 10:30. I called her cell. “I’m coming, I’m coming she said in a frantic tone and hung up. She was caught in traffic.
The bus from Belize City to Chetumal, which is a point of entry into Mexico from Belize, took about four hours. I had to wait until mid-night to catch the bus from Chetumal to San Cristobal. Since I had so much time to kill I took a cab to Chetumal’s Mayan Museum.
The bus from Chetumal to San Cristobal broke down, and bus terminal staff gave differing times when a bus would come that could take me, and two other stranded passengers to San Cristobal. Eventually I caught on, no one knew when a bus would come. At 3 am a bus going to San Cristobal arrived, but for some reason the other two stranded passengers and four Europeans who were trying to get on the bus got into an argument with a bus terminal employee. Since I had been told I could get on the bus I stored my duffle bag in the under compartment and began to board. My fellow stranded passengers protest. I couldn’t board, they said. I had to stand in line. I stood, listened, waited and knew full well I would be boarding the bus. The bus driver came, we all boarded the bus, and there was plenty of room for everyone. Sometime around 3 pm we arrived in San Cristobal. This time I had only a two hour wait. The bus arrived on time. I went to sleep, didn’t wake up very often and was very surprised when I woke up as the bus was turning into the Oaxaca bus terminal. It was 6 am April 16.

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