Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The first time was by accident. The 3 people I was traveling with weren't paying attention. I was looking out the window and saw the world's second largest Wal-Mart (at the time) and thought, "I could have sworn we were supposed to get off before we got here, but those three know where they are going." As we were rounding the last bend in the tracks one of the others said, "OH CRAP! That's Constitución!" When the train stopped, we all got off and started walking. "What are we going to do?!?!?!" They said. I suggested that since this was the end of the line, we should just get back on and wait for the train to go back the way it came. Fortunately it actually did go back the way it came without being diverted.
The second time I could have died. I was very sick, the sickest I've ever been in my life, coughing up blood. I couldn't walk more than a few steps without being out of breath. I made a call and told them I was going to the hospital. They said ok, but didn't realize how serious it was at the time. About three stations away, I saw a large group of people running towards the train, and it stayed in the station much longer than usual. When it finally left, it seemed like the train was straining against the weight of the new passengers. When we arrived, and descended from there was loud shouting and cheering behind us. It seems as if the crowd was almost entirely at the back of the train. As we were arriving at the turnstile where you show your ticket to the guards, the head guard blew his whistle and waved his hand in the air. All the guards stepped back towards the wall, we wisely decided to join them. The crowd's spirits were high their team had just won the sub 20 world cup, they were partying. I expected a little trouble, especially as they were passing the station vendors but they just passed by cheering and banging every piece of sheet metal in the place as they went. They didn't have tickets and the guards knew it, but they also knew that it matters less that a couple of hundred partiers pay to ride the train than it matters when they smash the place up. We asked for directions to the hospital and I was relieve to know it was only two blocks away.
The third visit was as a tourist. We were just passing the day seeing the sights without a care. We didn't see much not having a plan, but it was fun.
I'm more excited for this, than I've been in a long time. This trip is bringing up a lot of emotions. I can't wait.