Esperando el Bondi: Waiting for the Bus

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This is one of many photographs I took I would add to the “Esperando el bondi” series. “Bondi” is a slang term for bus in Uruguay and Argentina. Turismar is the name of the (private) bus company. The word “Agencia” doesn’t really translate into English. It is not a full bus station, but rather the branch stop for large enough towns. The population threshold is generally about 30,000 for a full station and 1,000 people for an agencia. Smaller pueblitos will usually have one or two “garitas” or shelters. Different companies have their agencias located in different places in the town. Gonzalez, Nuñez, La Flotta, and Unitur also come to Santa Clara, but not to this particular spot. An agencia is usually housed in some kind of small store or almacen, in this case, a print house. An agencia’s presence is marked by a sign attached to the building as well as a moveable stand. The almacenero receives compensation from the bus company to sell and assign tickets. Santa Clara is the name of the town. Manuel with the backpack and smartphone works at the Escuela Agraria in Santa Clara, and is headed back to Cerro Chato on his daily commute. Many people ride their motos to the agencia and leave it parked outside during the day. In rural Uruguay, security is nary an issue. The fellow in the tan jacket, beret, and matera (yerba mate carrying case) is likely headed from town back to the campo. This afternoon bus south on Ruta 7 will also be filled with people headed back to Montevideo (about a 5 hour trip). The blue stickers above the door are for Crufi, Uruguay’s leading ice cream brand.

“Esperando el bondi”. Los uruguayos y argentinos usan “bondi” por decir omnibus. Turismar es el nombre de la compania (privada). La agencia no es una estación, sino la gran parada en pueblos mas de mas o menos mil habitantes. En pueblitos mas chicos, hay uno o dos garitas nomas. Empresas diferentes tienen sus agencias en lugares diferentes del pueblo. Gonzalez, Nuñez, La Flotta y Unitur alcanzan tambien a Santa Clara, pero no a este lugar. Una agencia se ubica normalmente en un almacen, en este caso, tienda de imprenta. La presencia de una agencia es significado por un cartel en la pared exterior, y un stand movible. La empresa compensa el almacenero por vender y asignar pasajes. Santa Clara es el nombre del pueblo. Manuel con la Mochila y smartphone labora en la Escuela Agraria de Santa Clara y esta por volver a su casa en Cerro Chato. El hombre en el saco de cuero, boina y con la matera es probablemente volviendo a campo. Este bondi de tarde hacia el sur por la Ruta 7 sera lleno tambien de gente yendo a Montevideo, un viaje de 5 horas. Los pegotines azules arriba de la puerta son de Crufi una marca de helados uruguayos.

Santa Clara de Olimar, Treinta-y-Tres Department. 27 June 2014.

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