Day 54: Is this a scam?

Bogotans chilling in Plaza Bolivar on a warm Easter Sunday afternoon

Turned out leaving for the capital on Sat night was a bad idea afterall. The bus station was packed with Colombians heading home after their Easter long weekend. All buses seemed to be full and the standby lines were long. It was chaotic – already past 9pm with hundreds still hunting for an available seat to Bogotá, we were seriously disadvantaged and started to lose hope…
… Then, perhaps having spotted the frantic backpackers, a small middle aged lady at the front of a standby queue gestured us over – she offered to help us buy tickets. Really? There’s a bus available now? I was nervous, could it be a scam or did she want something in return? Even if this nightbus were a supplementary add-on to meet holiday demand, there was no chance we’d get on it with the queue so long. Spending a night in the bus station had no appeal so I had to go with the flow. She asked the cashier if she could have 3 tickets. No problem. Her name, Dora Garcia, was written on an invoice and the total cost appeared to tally up so she wasn’t planning to rip me off. I slipped her the money and made sure she passed it onto the cashier. Counted my change, all good; she even asked me hang onto the invoice.. too good to be true..

There were no tickets but least I had proof of some sort. We got to know Dora as we waited to depart. She was an extremely kind and sweet lady but throughout the convo I still felt uneasy. Did we really luck out whilst others are still stuck in the terminal unlikely to get on a bus tonight?

It wasn’t until we were properly sat on the bus that I finally relaxed. I couldn’t believe our luck. I couldn’t believe how genuinely helpful and welcoming Colombians are!

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4 Comments

  1. Ray says:

    I would feel very uneasy too, if I were in your shoes.

  2. ace says:

    amazing! there IS hope in this world! i think we are too cynical.

  3. Denise says:

    =) Yay! I love this story.

  4. Bernice says:

    Human kindness – good stuff!

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