4/14/10: Santiago, Chile
Things we didn’t bother to do before heading out to catch our 10:15 bus to Mendoza this morning:
- Check to make sure we knew where the bus station was.
- Print out our tickets that we had bought online from Andesmar five days earlier.
Excuses for not bothering to do those things which we probably should have done:
- We had already been to the bus station when we got into Santiago from Bariloche.
- Our hostel didn’t have a printer, and we figured the Andesmar office could easily print out our tickets for us if we gave them our reservation information.
- We got back a bit late from Easter Island.
- We were tired.
You know you’re in a pretty pathetic situation when the number of excuses you have for not doing things outnumbers the actual things you’re making the excuses for.
But! At least we did get up on time to eat our delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit, and Vegemite on toast (something I am starting to love). Which means we left on time for our bus, which means we got to the bus station about forty-five minutes early. And that’s when the silent panicking (me) and running around (Kevin) ensued. We looked in vain for about five minutes for our blue Andesmar bus – but the only buses around seemed to be bright green ones, and none of them were headed to Mendoza. We stopped a guy in the bus station and asked if we were at the right bus station. It turns out we weren’t. We asked him where the bus station we were supposed to be at was. He pointed to his right and said something in really fast Spanish that we took to mean, “It’s that way, you fools.” We thanked him and started powerwalking in that direction. Belatedly I realized that we should have asked him if it the bus station was nearby (something we actually know how to say in Spanish!) or if we would have to take the metro. I mentioned this to Kevin, who replied that it didn’t matter because we only had enough money for one of us to ride on the metro anyway. I didn’t say anything at the time, but I was thinking if it came to it, I’d ride the metro and Kevin would run. Because I have shorter legs.
Luckily for us, the bus station with the international buses was right next door to the bus station we had mistakenly gone to. We found it by following a bunch of people with roller suitcases who were walking underneath a sign that said “bus station this way.” That’s when my silent panicking finally stopped.
We found the Andesmar ticketing window with no problem and explained to them that we had already bought our tickets but couldn’t print them out because we didn’t have a printer. We figured it would be easy enough for them to just print out the tickets for us, seeing as they do that all the time at the TICKET COUNTER. But no such luck. It seems that fate generally does not reward laziness or procrastination or making assumptions about bus companies in Argentina. The ticketing guy pointed us over to an internet cafe, and we rushed over to get our tickets printed. At this point we only had 500 pesos left because we had been playing the “get rid of all of this country’s currency before we cross the border” game. Normally it’s a game I really enjoy playing but at this particular point in time I was cursing the fact that we had played it too well. “How many pages can we afford to print out?” I asked Kevin nervously. “Three, but I think we only need to print two.” It turns out the tickets didn’t actually fit onto two pages, but the Andesmar people didn’t seem to be as picky about that as they are about printing out online tickets. Yeah, I’m still a bit annoyed.
A few minutes later our bus pulled up and we got on. I’d like to say that our victory in overcoming the consequences of our own stupidity smelled so sweet, but that would be a lie. It actually smelled like sweaty people.
Picture of the Day: It was another NPD (No Picture Day), so please enjoy this picture from Torres Del Paine.