Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Decongestion Peruvian-style? (Peru)

When the Lima-to-Pisco bus was in the outer suburbs of Lima, about to leave Lima altogether, we suddenly heard the bus conductor shouting out “Pico, Pico!” to the clusters of people by the road surging towards the bus, hoping to embark.  We sat bolt upright in our seats and went into a momentary panic:  Had we got on the wrong bus?!?  With this being the outer border of Lima, how were we to find our way all the way back to the centre of Lima to catch the right bus to Pisco?  A quick check with a fellow passenger told us that “Pico” and Pisco are the same thing.  When, three days later on the Ica-to-Nazca bus, we heard the conductor shouting out, “Naca!  Naca!”, we had the same instinctive moment of panic, then thought, “Ah, maybe another Pico thing,” but checked with a fellow passenger all the same.  

Maybe, just like the wildly shifting advertised departure times of long distance buses, and the discrepancy between the advertised departure time and the actual departure time (cf. the Pisco-to-Ica bus in blog Peruvian ways), this is yet another way to filter out overcrowding, with tourists leaping off in a panic, thinking they’d got on the wrong bus.

(Peru 1986)