It’s funny when you’re in the States and you know where you are, you know that your parents can drive you, or you know how to use the bus system, but here it’s totally different. It’s crazy how once you get to a new place how much you realize you depend on transportation to get you around and how clueless you actually are! Also, everything is obviously in Spanish, which adds one more hurdle to your struggle to get around!
The easiest ways to get around are to either walk, which is how I get to school or to take a buseta which is like a full size van you have to pay for! The most exciting, but dangerous way to travel is a mototaxi which is taking a motorcycle to your destination BUT they weave through the traffic! It’s not allowed, so I haven’t done it but it looks exciting! But the cheapest way to get around is the Trolebus! The Trolebus is a free, public transportation that has about 20 stops where you can get on to travel around Merida.
The Trolebus is a pretty easy way to get around and it’s free so it’s awesome. But it can be awkward sometimes when you use it because it usually is full during the middle of the day so you have to squish against people! And because I’m so tall my head hits the bars that you use to hold on when you’re standing. Also, since I’m so tall, I’m light skinned, and I’m blonde so many people stare at you, which can make it very uncomfortable.
It definitely is connected to the Venezuelan culture, first off because they have no schedule posted you generally are unsure of when it’s open! One day it can be open at noon and the next it can be closed. Also, in Venezuela it’s normal to have a two hour lunch break, so it’s not open from 1-3pm! Especially after President Chavez died there was no way to know when it was open because they can close it down whenever they want. And after he died almost all the shops were closed, so most of the time the Trolebus was closed. In addition, it uses electricity which is awesome because then it doesn’t add to the pollution in the city. Lastly, it is sponsored by the government so you can tell that the government here is investing in public services, like free public transportation. It’s great because then it gives people who don’t have a lot of money a free and safe way to get around the city.