As we drove south of the city to Guamani, the fifth supposed car lot we had visited, we hoped that after all of our search we would finally find a bus. We remained hopeful.
The further south we went buildings seemed a bit more decrepit. Some concrete structures wore no roofs and others just wore shadows of what once was, peeling paint and misshaped metal sticking out in all sorts of directions where a roof once was. Some buildings were never finished, but still hinted of life. It was Sunday, so most businesses were closed and normal families weren´t wandering the streets. All the Martinez and Rodriguez clans of Ecuador were probably sitting down with their sons Jorge and Juan enjoying a few cervezas over a delicious merienda. The lack of Ecuadorian clans and the squalor outside our windows added to an uneasy feeling that was building inside our cab.
Trash lined the banks of the worn avenue. Our driver called headquarters repeatedly trying to figure out the way as Alaena questioned his speed and Alex and I sat quietly observing.
Where are we going, I thought. We had been in the cab for over thirty minutes.
As our collective nervousness came to a boil, we finally turned down a side street and began to go up. We came to the climax of the hill. People lined the streets, women, children, street vendors, skinny homeless dogs and cats. We paid the driver and got out of the car. Chaos surrounded us and it smelled like fried pork. We became engulfed in the scene, and our nervousness fell away as the giant lot of cars revealed itself.
We had all pictured it to look like this, a lot of cars as far as the eye could see, music blaring out of every car as their owners sat motionless in the front seat waiting for a bidder, hundreds of people wandering, inspecting, restaurants thrown together with bamboo, tarps, plastic tables, chairs, and whole deep fried pigs sitting on the front table enticing the hungry. This was it. But where were the buses in this murky, chaotic sea of sellers, customers and cretins.
We searched. In the distance one of us spotted a bus. We walked towards it. We came to a smaller lot full of buses and trucks. The excitement of the rainbow resurfaced.
There it was white, purple and black. The perfect size, the perfect price, the perfect moment at the perfect time in all of our lives. The only time that we could ever consider this idea, put all the work we had into it, and believe in each other and the idea so completely. The time before any of us had become jaded with time, failure, success, and stagnation. A time that we believed in and wanted. And I know that even if we don´t succeed, we had already lived our adventurous future, maybe only in our heads, thousands of times these past few weeks.