Monday, November 16, 2009

Round One: Transportation

**Since I've been working like a machine lately, I haven't had a lot of time to write posts. So I've decided to write some short posts about the differences between Guatemala City and Santiago. This is Round One of the Smackdown.**

ahh, public transportation... One of my favorite topics EVER. (that was actually NOT sarcasm, by the way). So let's see how Guate and Stgo measure up...

As you read in previous posts, Guatemala's public transportation system has some serious problems. There is no subway (big bummer) and the buses are interesting to say the least. The alternative to the buses are taxis. Taxis aren't exactly safe either though. Taxi drivers will rob you - whether it's just scamming you into paying more or by threat and force. Walking isn't much of an option either. Ask any Guatemalan and they will tell you that nowhere is safe. So what's your option? Stay at home, locked into your little safe haven and pretend the scary Guatemala doesn't exist? Yeah, you get hungry eventually.

And then there is Santiago with Transantiago. Subway - check. Although overcrowded at times and with it's fair share of pick pockets, the metro system is clean and consistent. The metro stops are even pretty, with artwork and such. Now, I have to admit that I didn't really take the bus all that often in Stgo. But the few times that I did, everything went smoothly (expecially in hindsight now that I've experienced lovely Guate buses). Taxis in Santiago will try to swindle you, especially if you're a foreigner - but I always felt like I could handle those situations. Oh and you can walk (imagine that!). I walked home alone numerous times late at night (gasp!) and all was well.

Ding! Ding! And the winner of the first round is..... SANTIAGO (duh).

Yeah, that's right, Stgo, I gave you an easy one for the first round... don't expect every win to be that easy....

Stay tuned for Round Two.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how your perspective can change as soon as you leave a place. I'm sure when I'm back in the states over christmas, I'll be all "Why isn't this like Chile?" and "In Chile they do it this way..." But, now I can't wait to get out of here! I'm like chomping at the bit. I'm going to be the happiest gringa on that flight. Back to the land of flushed toilet paper, lines, and people who smile at me without trying to rob me or hit on me (in Minnesota at least).