Monday, December 8, 2008

The Fucking Bus Company (ADO)

The title pretty much sums this post up. So there we were, in Cancun and ready to hit the road. We had just gorged ourselves on some delicious roadside tacos, and were in the bus station waiting to head to Palenque. The bus was set to leave at 7:30, and we made sure we were there around half an hour early.

Around 7:15 we still had not seen a bus pull in to Bay 1 which was where we had been told to wait. Natalie went to the door that everyone has to pass through in order to board and asked the woman collecting tickets if the bus had arrived. "Un momento" was the answer. At 7:25 with no bus still in sight I went up to the woman, showed her our tickets, and asked about the status of the bus. Again I was told it had not arrived. "En seguro" "Are you sure" I said. "Si" was the reply. Our conversation went on for a couple of more minutes with her again examing our tickets and telling me the bus had not arrived. At 7:34 Natalie jumped from her seat. "The bus is pulling away" she shouted, as she ran for the door. It was to late. The bus, which had been parked in a different bay, did not stop.

I began explaining the situation to another woman who had come over. Speaking in rapid Spainsh that was difficult to understand she basically told me that I should have got on the bus at 7:30 at turned her back on me. As she stood talking to someone else I again tried to question her, though she simply turned and told me to go to customer service.

I made my way to the customer service booth in a rage. Amazingly my Spanish didn't falter, in fact it seemed to improve, as I rapidly explained the entire situation to the man working at the booth. He looked up the next bus, which was only an hour later and told us that there were two seats left, but that we would have to pay again. In a lot of countries this would not be such a big deal, but the buses in Mexico are exprensive and this was a first class bus, which cost nearly $100 for both our tickets. Furious, I responded that we were getting on the next bus at 8:30, and that we were not paying for our tickets. The banter went back and forth for a minute or two until he got his supervisor, who also informed me that we had to pay. After several minutes of arguing he said they would pay %50. It was better than nothing, and we REALLY wanted to get the hell out of Cancun, so an hour later and fifty dollars lighter we boarded the bus for what was to be the most expensive ride I have ever taken.

Fifteen hours later I was lying on the bed of my private cabaƱa, happy to finally be away from Cancun and on the road.

After a day of lazing about we made our way to the fabulous ruins of Palenque this morning. Truly an amazing site (though not as great as Tikal), and to top it all off it's about 85 out right now.

I hear Seattle's expecting snow this weekend...

Well, if you will excuse me I have to make a call to the head of ADO in Cancun and try to get my money back. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Hurray for following your adventures :) Keep warm for me - today I ran and my eyelashes froze!