Last Thursday I had yet another frightening experience involving thieves on buses in more or less exactly the same place as I had problems before: Hospital Escuela. I was going to meet my friend Danny in a shopping centre called Plaza Miraflores (The “Look! Flowers Place”, as I like to call it – it’s a translation joke, don’t pay any attention). I was sat on the left hand-side of the bus minding my own business when people on the right-hand side started peering out the window and pointing at something. I couldn’t quite see what. I was over-hearing dreaded words like “asalto” and “muertes”. All of sudden, five men brandishing pistols and rifles got on the bus at the back door. I was sat at the middle of the bus. The gang then started pointing the guns at two men. The whole bus went absolutely mad, running to the front of the bus. Very suspiciously, the bus driver had closed the door so nobody could get off. The uproar was frightening, the screams and shouting were people very, very afraid for their lives. The guys with the guns were quite obviously Maras. I thought they might open-fire from the racket the people were making because there was a lot of confusion about what to do (especially from me) as we were all trapped. I was a bit dumbstruck from seeing guns being thrown around too. Then two men at the front of the bus started kicking the door in. Everyone scrambled out quickly, in a lot of shock. The bus driver was being punched and smacked by people as we got off. I too shouted “Hijo de Puta” in his face. The Maras did nothing to stop us getting off but people still ducked when they got out as the drove on in case the gang shot bullets out of the window. There were still two people on the bus. I hate to think what happened to them. I felt cowardly for not helping them and I still do, but, in a moment of panic, what do you do in a situation like that. I had to get another bus to go to Miraflores and I promise myself this will be the last bus I catch here. The novelty of riding the mad buses has worn off. I don’t want to be in a situation like that again.
When I got home, the family believe the bus driver was paying war-tax to the Maras. It’s paid in return for security, but it seems the bus driver didn’t really care about the well-being of its passengers. Hospital Escuela isn’t a particularly dangerous place in Tegus, but it’s certainly got my alarm bells ringing. On Thursday I was in shock. I am a bit calmer about it now.
Yesterday I went to a Honduran wedding. It was nice enough. They were friends of the family. It was in Santa Lucia in a nice house with some nice scenic views. However, it was freezing. Santa Lucia is quite high up, so one should expect slightly chilly weather. But the downfall was incredible. There have been lots of showers here recently. The was a canopy being punished by the weather and very few people sat under it. The reception started off with nice music, like merengue and salsa, which got me on the dance floor. But my hatred of reggaeton came roaring back (well, it was just lying dormant for a while). It was played for an hour or so, and then the family decided they’d had enough so we left. They hate reggaeton too. It was made worse when ten-year-old girls were dancing, well, not how ten-year old girls should dance at weddings. It was nice to take advantage of the champagne and the cake was lovely. I passed on best wishes to the newly weds and went home too. I was going to take lots of artistic pictures of the wedding, but I got bored and gave up. The weather, and no pun intended, was a dampener. I felt sorry for the happy couple, or wet couple. I did get this picture of the cake though (see below). It was a great way to end the day after watching Manchester United get battered by Barca.
Also, yesterday, there was an event that has caused some joy in some and worry in others. Zelaya, who was ousted in a military coup a little short of two years ago, returned to Honduras. There was a big party at the airport as he touched down and, I remember one little boy on the tele shouting random things down the microphone while he was on stage. He had an Olancho accent, which is Zelaya is from, and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. And from looking at the faces of the crowd in front of him, neither could they. It was quite funny to see nonetheless.
Carlos, the father I live with now, is a “self-confessed” web-boy and he makes videos for a living. One of them is Pulapanzak, which is where I went for a rave a month or two ago. It has nice calming waterfalls and music which is very theraputic for me after last week’s bus experience. There are also other videos of his included.