It's bound to happen with all these micros (buses) driving crazily around with no route per se, or at least to the average traveller. I have finally taken the plunge and decided that if I ever want to get out and do things on a daily basis, and on a whim, I would need to learn how to take a micro.
Some micros are easier to take than others, like when I am in downtown Talagante at the bus station where all the buses stop at (so I don't have to flag them down) and I can easily see their signs in the wind shield, and easily choose my micro home. Which is any bus with the sign of "Isla de Maipo" on it. I board the bus pay my money say what city I am going to and I can wait a little bit. I can't relax because I am always worried I am going to miss my street. Once I see we are near my street I go up to the driver and ask him to stop here, or if I am lucky there will be just a button I have to press, I then get off the bus and I am done with it. That is the easy micro for me, it is not so easy at night though, seeing as how out of the city and into the country there are no street lights which makes seeing where we are that much harder, and makes my walk back home a little scarier. My dirt road won't have any strange people or anything of the sorts, but we have one house that doesn't have a gate around their house and they also have like 10 dogs on their property that wander the road. During the day it is fine since they are too lazy and it is daylight so they can see you, but at night if they are not sleeping they sometimes can bark you and it does get freaky, I have been lucky when it did happen my host dad was in his car behind me coming back home from work.
The other day my friend asked me to meet him in the plaza, and today I decided I would take the micro since I couldn't expect anyone to just drive me there. So I got my exact change, asked my host mom if there was any buses that from our road will not go to Talagante, which she said they all go to Talagante, which is a relief. I got my glasses so I could see the signs and I was off on our long dirt road headed for the main road. This is what I don't like doing, I don't like standing on a street by myself in the country where guys in cars an shout and whistle at me all they please. I am just praying to God that they don't actually stop and offer me a ride. I have been fortunate enough that it hasn't happened yet. Once I see a micro I put my arm out to the side and point my index finger signalling the micro to pull over, I was lucky enough that the first micro I saw pulled over. I am assuming since I am a girl and alone it pulled over, seeing as how whenever me and my brother try to flag down micros at the same spot about 5 will at least pass us without pulling over. I was happy to board the bus fearing more teenagers in cars passing me by, even though I wasn't fully confident in the bus seeing as how this was my first time taking it in this direction. It turned out to be fine, and I got off and made it to the plaza in no time.
Turns out when my friend said meet me in the plaza he meant a plaza of a different smaller city, but forgot to what city so I just automatically assumed. When he called, he offered to come to Talagante and find me but I said I would probably be fine trying to go to the other city. Of course I was scared shitless sort of, reassured me that I could ask people on the bus where it was. I also figured that this was an educated risk, since it was daylight out, and if I though I went to far or if I got lost I could always cross the street to the other side and take a micro back to Talagante and I would be fine.
At the bus station I know exactly what bus to get on, I just don't know where to get off, so I eventually ask this nice looking lady beside me if she knew the Isla and if she knew where the Supermarket was (me and my friend decided to meet there instead) she didn't really know exactly but she was really nice and said it was after when she got off and asked another lady to help me, which this lady talked super fast and was talking about how the bus turns around. I was utterly confused by her but I was proud of myself for actually talking in spanish to perfect starngers who didn't fully understand my situation. I was still slightly nervous but I told me head that you can't get lost and the worst scenario is that you take a micro back to Talagante. I finally understand what the lady is talking about when I see the plaza and we make a turn into the downtown of the city, so now I am searching for the super which I have seen once in my life here, but I can't find it and we make another turn and we are in the residential area. I quickly ask a another lady if we passed the supermarket she didn't know, so I ask the driver and he didn't understand me so I decide to get off the bus. I wasn't official lost since I knew if I just walked a few minutes back to the downtown and then walk another 10minutes to where I saw the plaza I would be fine. Turns out Isla de Maipo is a lot smaller than I thought, so when I reached the downtown my friend called and asked me where I was so I told him what happened and he eventually found me. It was a laughable situation. I told him how I couldn't see the super and how nobody knew where it was. We eventually pass it the super and I can see why I didn't see it, it was so tiny that I was probably looking on the other side and we passed it. At least I know how to take a micro to this city.
Thank goodness for common sense. As well as in daylight this situation is really hilarious but if it was in the night (although I never really do travel at night unless I am with friends) I think I would have been freaking out a bit more. But it's bound happen to get lost with a bus system like this.