Standing in the heat on the side of the road, I kill boredom by observing the other people waiting for the bus that will take us to Quito. Just as I am losing my hopes of ever seeing the bus arrive, there it is! The bus rides with its doors open, and if there are not that many people at the stop, it doesn’t even fully break: people have to jump in and out. In my case, we are with enough people to make the bus stop, but the moment I set my second foot on the doorstep, it starts riding again, at full speed.
There are three employees on the bus: the driver, another person sitting next to the driver (whose job is not very clear to me), and the person to which you pay your ride, as bus tickets do not exist. I try to pay my 25-cent ride with 10 dollars, but get a very abrupt reaction from the ticket-man, so I end up not paying. Almost all the people in the bus are school kids, wearing a uniform. As I find my seat, I feel quite observed; some of them are slightly smiling as if they were making fun of me. I’m also smiling, thinking about how you can pay your 3 euros bus ticket with a credit card on any bus in Maastricht.
As I look around to the new faces and landscapes, I finally realize that I am in a new continent, and that I will have to get used to all the small things being different, starting from public transport. The bus rides at an incredible speed, and soon we arrive at the village of Nayon, which is famous for its flower market. A woman gets on the bus carrying on her back a pannier with about twenty different plants. For her the bus stops, saving her the jump. A couple of meters further than the official stop, a young woman tries to stop the bus, but the driver ignores her, shaking his head: in some aspects, bus drivers are the same all around the world.