There is Something Romantic About Public Transportation…

“Você gostaria de se sentar”

“Would you like to sit down?”

“Não, obrigada.”

“No thank you.”

It amazes me how the bus drivers manage to keep buses intact as they quickly make turns, speed up mountains, and then back down them again all the while passengers sway from side to side.

Every time I get on a bus I feel I’m missing out if I sit. I’m in a whole different country with a marvelous landscape and through this marvelous landscape there are some not very marvelous roads. Roads whose every bump demands passengers’ attention, whisking me out of daydreams and into the present.

I am here. I’m hugging onto the handrails. And I am happy. 

Going on the bus here is one of the things I look forward to. There’s no metaphor or hidden meaning to why I love taking it. I just do. To me, there’s a kind of romantic essence to public transportation.

Back in Miami, I loved taking the Metrorail and watch the city in motion below me. In my eyes, that train symbolized independence; I could freely go places without asking for rides and was responsible over whether or not I missed my train. Now in Brasil my feeling of liberation comes in eight wheels.

I love the sense of freedom the cold air brings as it blows against my face in a packed bus. Buzzing up and down the streets, I get so engulfed by this sweet feeling that I tend to snap out of it right as the doors are closing at my stop.

One may say I’m simply enchanted by the bus because I’m in a honeymoon phase – I’m an outsider experiencing new things that are regular to the inhabitants of “Floripa.” However, it definitely does not feel like only two weeks have gone by. I am always in awe of this country’s beauty, but yet for some reason I’m not surprised by it. I’m curious about the way of life and culture, but I don’t feel as if I’m a foreigner. The shock only sinks in when I speak and broken Portuguese comes out. That’s what feels out of place.

Still, it makes sense. I’ve been here a short time… my soul just feels otherwise.