Please don’t molest me on Transmilenio

I am not a fan of the Transmilenio.

I’m talking about the overly celebrated transport system that emerged in Bogotá when plans for an underground metro faltered (said plans have since been resurrected, but don’t hold your breath)

Transmilenio is essentially a series of large, bendy buses with their own lanes, which move between clearly-marked stations (Ssshh, it’s basically an overland version of London’s Tube).

The reason for my dislike is threefold:

1) There are either too many passengers or too few buses in the world of Transmilenio. Use it at the wrong time and you’ll find yourself in a frantic sardine sandwich.

2) The timetable is not a timetable. It’s a series of complex colours, codes, numbers and letters designed to cause you the utmost confusion the moment your bus arrives.

3) Colombians see queuing as an opportunity, not a necessity. Your typical Transmilenio user forces his way to the front of the crush, realises he is about to board the wrong bus (see 2) then provides a helpful entry barrier to anyone else who may wish to board.

The regular bus is also 300 pesos (10p) cheaper.

But lately I’ve been forced to grit my teeth. Transmilenio is faster and more reliable and well, I seem to be using it once a day at the moment.

It was on one of these journeys that I first noticed ‘The Sign’. A picture of a man apparently thrusting his groin at a female passenger, with some Spanish (No queremos ese apoyo) I couldn’t quite translate.

I couldn’t for a minute believe I was seeing an ‘anti-groin thrusting’ poster so I took a copy to some friends.

They burst into laughter.

“This happens, this happens,” one of them laughed.

“You know, there have been scandals on the Transmilenio with men fitting tiny cameras to the knee of their trousers, filming up women’s skirts and then posting the results on YouTube.”

It sounded like an urban myth and I must have looked disbelieving.

“Ha Vicki, I can’t believe you haven’t seen this,” another chipped in.

“In fact, if you’re a man, this is the best way to exit Transmilenio when it’s busy. Thrust out your groin and everyone will move out of your way,” he demonstrated helpfully, with a violent hip movement.

Later, my flatmate Gustavo confirmed that groin thrusting was indeed a problem on the popular transport network.

“It’s not every passenger obviously,” he said, rolling his eyes.

“But maybe one in a hundred or something apparently do it, only when the Transmilenio is really full.”

It turns out the slogan is also unintentionally comical when it is translated into English. It reads something like: “On Transmilenio, we don’t want this support.”

So there you go boys. No groin thrusting please.

The Sign
Advertisements

8 Comments

  1. Just Me

    nice blog, however there’s something you have misunderstood.
    #3… it isn’t about confused people, “opportunistic” is the term. People take the chance to get in the front of the queue. I would call them jungles, intead of stations, How sad to see how uneducated my fellow contrypeople are 😦

  2. Professor

    “3) Colombians see queuing as an opportunity, not a necessity. Your typical Transmilenio user forces his way to the front of the crush, realises he is about to board the wrong bus (see 2) then provides a helpful entry barrier to anyone else who may wish to board.”

    That is not part of trasnmilenio, that is part of the colombian mindset. XD

  3. Ceri

    Oh, sick. They need those posters on the Metro and on the microbuses here in Mexico. The men are awful for it – especially when you’re sitting down and a man is standing right next to you. An faceful of crotch is exactly what you don’t want to be paying for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s