Microbus Art


One of the best things about living in Chile this side of 2007 is that the yellow buses are gone. When I first lived in Santiago in 2005 I avoided this mode of transport: not only were there no formal bus stops, but the buses rarely stopped. Also, people called them micros. Not autobús as I had obediently learned sometime in high school; you could fill tomes with Spanish I thought people spoke. But I digress. This is an important anecdote because in Chile a city bus is called a microbús, abbreviated simply to micro in commuter-speak. Somewhere in this abbreviation this critical terms jumps gender and becomes “la micro,” which to my institutional Spanish sounds like cats screeching every time I hear it. All of this is mingled into my loathing of the yellow micros and all the commuters with nostalgia for the old system are sentimental loons. Continue reading