Survival Checklist: Peruvian Bus Edition

Here we are, driving on the wrong side of the road...

Here we are, driving on the wrong side of the road…

  • Tickets—check. Good, they’re not for Bolivia.  Oh no, are these for the front seat? That’s going to be freezing, right next to the ever-foggy windows… good thing I brought my
  • Blanket—and other warm clothes.  This will prepare me for the 30- or 40-degree drop in weather.  And it will make those blankets that the indigenous women rent out much less appealing…
  • Extra jacket—so when I lend mine to Charles, I won’t have to try to fit my entire body underneath my scarf.
  • Sense of caution, appreciation for common rules of the road…wait, how did that get in there???  No, I definitely don’t want to bring that; the bus will be speeding the entire time and will probably disregard any semblance of a center line or “No passing” sign.
  • Bedtime stories—I’m not going to get any sleep, and at least these will distract my limbs long enough for me to put them to sleep before the really uncomfortable positions they’re forced into do.
  • H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds—After I put the legs to sleep, I might as well have a little reading material… besides, nothing short of an invasion of late Victorian England by Martians using tripod fighting machines will prepare me for the tricycle-motored, carriage-like, insect-alien-robot vehicles that swarm the bus at each random stop.
  • Crowbar—gonna need that to force open the bathroom door… solo orinar?  Traveling in South America is not for the faint of heart, but it may be for the faint of olfaction.
  • Rope, carabiners, harnesses and any other form of climbing gear that might be able to keep me upright while maintaining minimal contact with the bathroom walls
  • Children’s floaties—maybe I can improvise a toilet seat with these… there don’t seem to be many of them in Peru.
  • Hand sanitizer, windex, anointing oil, anything to get the ungodly bathroom filth off of me.  There probably won’t be any water, nor a square inch of space that isn’t teeming with life…
  • Passport.  Obv.  That’s just practical.  But I’d like to not have to use it so much so, I’ll bring
  • Wigs, sunglasses, and dark foundation—this way they won’t realize that there are Americans aboard, and maybe we won’t have so many late-night stops with police boarding and demanding my passport.
  • Earplugs—I wouldn’t want the yelling to wake me at every random stop… or maybe if I’m hungry I won’t wear them; I wouldn’t want to miss out on all that corn they’re yelling about!
  • Sardines—I mean, just for the irony. By 2 am I’ll wake up with someone’s head on my arm and discover that the bus is so packed that the aisles are full of sleeping Peruvians.  And maybe when I bust out this can of sardines, the smell will give me a personal bubble again.

Oh, I almost forgot my BFFs Charles and Emily.  They look a little upset about being bound hand and foot, but I think they’ll get over it once the tranquilizer pills kick in.

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