Day 25: Midnight Trip to Mendoza / by Sarah Kakusho

I woke up to the sounds of silence this morning. It was absolutely amazing to not wake up to the door slamming and the keys rattling signaling that the maid had walked in for duty. I woke up a couple of minutes before my alarm clock. It felt just like Soka again.

I met up with Erika to buy bus tickets to come back to Buenos Aires from Mendoza, since she had only bought tickets for the trip there. It was interesting. They have 3 different types of services on the buses: semi-cama, cama, and full. We got there the camas to go there because it was only a few $$ difference from the semi-cama, and it was actually better. So we bought 2 tickets for A$306. That’s pretty cheap in my opinion. I was slightly afraid because I realized that the station we were leaving from was Retiro, one of the danger zones that my program had warned me about.

I chanted for nothing bad to happen to us.

Later on, we met at the C subway line. I had never been to the C line before, so it was a completely new experience. I personally like the subs in this line better because they have handles that people can hold onto, not just poles. Anyway, we stepped out of the station and it was completely a different world. I wondered whether we were still in Buenos Aires or not. The streets were much wider; the sidewalks were wider, but still congested vendors and people. The atmosphere was much different, slightly more mysterious and less cosmopolitan.

We walked to the omnibus station…and I swear to pesos in my pocket, it looked like an airport. There were 75 platforms and double-decker buses coming and going throughout the terminal, while on the inside there were small shops and kiosks, cafes and restaurants serving customers who were on the go. We looked up at the TV and found ourselves looking up at the arrivals and departures of buses that were coming and going.

The moment we stepped outside to the platforms [which, by the way, were just parking spots with numbers on them] we were completely shocked at how much the area looked like a private airport terminal. People were just waiting around, turning around to see if their buses were coming on time. Ours came right at the minute it was supposed to leave. Erika and I were slightly worried up until that point, not wanting to miss our ride.

First and foremost about the buses, the world of service and transportation will NEVER surpass what we experienced on the bus to Mendoza. We got the cama seating which allows for our seats to recline pretty far back. When we got on, we were given a couple of sandwiches, which were absolutely delicious. We thought this was our dinner…until we stopped at 10pm in the middle nowhere at a café to have steak, mashed potatoes and flan for dinner. When we got back on, we were given pastries for the morning.

The seats are much bigger than first class seating in airplanes, and without a doubt much more comfortable, coming with a nice leg rest and large food tray. It was amazing. Oh, and they showed movies and music videos, too, which were bizarrely English/American movies/music videos. It was probably the most comfortable transportation I will ever take in a lifetime.

P.S. I’ve posted pictures from July in one post and back-dated it. If you just scroll down to “23 Weeks” on the right-hand column and click “Screenshots,” you’ll be able to see them. Or just click here.