I apologize for the lack of posts. But really if anyone is to blame it’s my friend Mike. He arrived Thursday from Mendoza. So naturally this post will begin then. Before I left for the bus station to pick him up, Maca, a co-worker/friend called the bus company to ask if it would be arriving on time. The response she received is important, so pay attention. Who ever she spoke to (clearly someone who, in the words of Joe, would be a prime candidate for a job as a Walmart greeter) told her that the bus was only 15 minutes late.
So I arrived at the station at 6:30, which was the time he was scheduled to arrive. I knew it would be a few minutes late, but I was excited to see my old college friend, so I was in a bit of a rush to get there. As 7:15 rolled around and Mike was no where to be seen, I was got a little anxious so I walked into the terminal and approached the desk for his bus company. I asked (in Spanish) if his bus had arrived yet. I must have spoken to the same person as Maca, because he informed me the bus had already arrived. Mind you, at this point the station was a bit slow, and there was no way his bus could have arrived without me seeing it.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a bit of a worrier. So of course I was a little more than worried that my friend had failed to show up. I called Maca and told her the little predicament I was in. She told me to find a security guard and to hand him my phone and she would talk to him. Luckily there was one right near by, and thankfully he was incredibly nice. Maca spoke with him and explained the situation. He spoke a little English and with my broken Spanish we were able to communicate. He went to speak with the bus company, who not surprisingly gave him a completely different story than they had given me. Not only had the bus not arrived, there was a four hour delay at Los Libertadores, the border crossing between Argentina and Chile.
Clearly I was in for a long evening. Luckily for me I had Omar, my trusted security guard. In the beginning of the evening it was a bit slow at the station so he kept stopping by to chat. He told me, in great detail, about his few friends in the US. So, Javier in Tampa and Pablo in Chicago, if you’re reading this, Omar says, “Hi!”
And if you’re wondering about the title of this blog post I’m about to fill you in. Omar told me how one of his friends jokes around with him because of his name. Mar, lago and rio in Spanish mean ‘sea’, ‘lake’ and ‘river’, respectively . So they call him Oh Mar, Oh Lago, Oh Río. Get it?
Every time a bus would arrive from Mendoza, he would come find me and we would go watch the passengers disembark. But there was no Mike. (At least not my Mike.) So I went back to waiting. Things got more chaotic as the night progressed. The majority of people traveling in Chile choose to do so in the evening, since the trips are usually pretty lengthy. So the bus station became jam packed with people, making it even harder to watch for buses, and passengers named Mike.
Around 9:30 I began to pace back and forth, simply out of boredom. This attracted the attention of an old man who was waiting for the bus. He struck up a conversation with me. And the only reason I’m mentioning it here is because I was actually able to have a conversation with someone in Spanish.
Finally, around 10:15, Omar came to let me know another bus from Mendoza was about to arrive. We were standing watching the bus pull in, when I noticed a familiar face waving at me from the second floor of the bus. And then I grimaced as I read the name of the bus he arrived on, “El Rápido”.