I must admit that I think that the bus system in Buenos Aires is not as bad as some people describe it. Yes, a little too crowded, yes, a little too noisy, yes, a little too dirty, but there are enough lines to take me just about anywhere I want. That is if you know a line well and where to take it exactly, all is fine. Problems come when you take a line the first time, and from the beginning of the route, like the 99 I took Sunday.
So I am meeting friends at 13h all the way up on Juan B Justo. None of the regular line I know gets there but the 99 seems to drop me off close enough and I can take it at the beginning of the line which seems to be at the Correo Central, not to far from home.
Knowing how things work, I decide to leave at 11h, giving me a big 2 hours to try-to-find-the-stop/no-find-it/make-mistakes, in that order – or not, and hopefully get there on time.
At 11h20 I am at the Correo Central. Tens of bus lines, some indicated, some erased and some probably missing. No 99 on site. I ask some guys in the little booth of a line. Ahhhhhh, you take the 99 on Corrientes, near Luna Park. Bueeeeeeeeeno, here I go.
Yeap, there it is, halfway between N. Alem and Luna Park. And I wait, wait, wait… Oh! did I say it was feezing cold? After 30 minutes I see a 99 coming down Corrientes and I start waiving, waiving only to see the
fucken bus making a left turn on N. Alem. HEY!!!!!!! I am down here, waiving like an idiot.
Ok, so being docile until I start spitting fire and throwing an internal tantrum, I think it may be the bus going in the other direction, broken down or whatever. So I wait, wait, wait another 30 minutes… Mind you that my feet are cold by then. Here it comes again and… same scenario. WTF!!!!
I decided to go on N. Alem to try to find a stop and ask. Nope, nothing. So I keep walking and as I pass the Plaza Roma, I see the 99 going the opposite way on Brouchard, towards Luna Park…
I am now VERY displeased, that 99 seems to be playing games with me… So I cross the Plaza and find another 99 stop. And I wait- wait-wait another 30 minutes along with a man that is up on the little hill in the plaza, equally frozen. And I am definitely gonna be late. The man finally comes down and asks me if I am waiting for the bus. Huuuuum, many many stupid answers came to mind, but I stupidly answered yes. I realized that I am talking to the controller who saw me all that time and he NOW tells me that this is not a stop to get on the 99, but that it is located on Tucuman, on the other side of the Plaza. More, to his big surprise, I mentioned the stop on Corrientes, which he denied it existed (!!!!) even though I froze my ass there for 30 minutes, to finally admit that it may be there but has not been used for 20 years… Uuuuuuuuuuu…. I am sure my karma is suffering for all the bad vibs I sent him.
So if I get this right, I was misinformed at Correo Central, I waited at a ghost bus stop for 30 minutes, at another ghost bus stop for another 30 minutes and I finally got on the right bus 30 minutes later, on Tucuman.
Of course I arrived late and told my friend that if I told them what happened, they would not believe me or think I am a liar.
And you, do you believe me?