Seriously, they whistle.
Not only are there literally thousands of them (we have seen 10+ on the same block at the same time); not only do they aim directly for you whenever possible; not only do they emit disgusting exhaust fumes, not only are their engines extremely loud; but on top of all that, some ass clown thought it would be a good idea to make them whistle at you. All the time. Day and Night. Loudly. Why??? I want to know WHY.
Google turned up the following result which provides a very good overview of the bus situation:
“Concerning Argentine Buses (or: Why I love it here)”
I’m going to digress for a moment to explain how the buses work here. First, you have your “Guia T.” This is a two part booklet, the first part being a map of Buenos Aires that is divided into grids. Opposite of the grids are corresponding boxes that contain a list of every bus that passes through that
grid of the city. These maps, however, do not tell you where these buses stop in the grid, just that they do. You then use your Guia T to look for a bus that passes through the part of the city you’re currently in and through where you’re going. Then you search the physical 4 block by 4 block square that is that grid in order to find the elusive bus stop. The signs are small and the buses will really stop anywhere. For most “portenos” (Buenos Aires residents, or “people of the port”) this is do-able. (?!?!?) If you, poor soul, need more help the second part of the Guia T includes a list of each bus’s main neighborhood stops with a drawing of the bus, which is necessary because all the buses are painted different bright colors to distinguish them.
So, to recap: hidden bus stops, unclear routes, confusing maps and buses that look like they belong on carousels. And if the driver tells you “Arriba” while you’re getting on you better get the hell on because that roughly translates to “I’m shutting the door now and driving wildly into traffic whether you are standing there or not” in Castellano. (Castellano being the Buenos Aires specific brand of Spanish).
Note: These buses whistle. No, not like a train whistle. A human whistle. These buses, should you look lost at a street corner anywhere in Buenos Aires, will good ol’ fashion greasy-construction-worker-at-a pretty-lady whistle at you to let you know, “Hey, baby, I know where you could be going. With me.”
I think that sums things up fairly well. You may think I’m kidding about this, but I would never kid about whistling buses.
Can anyone explain this phenomenon? If so, please do so in the comments!