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When's the Last Time You Rode the Bus?

My sister mimi2three and I decided to head downtown last week for holiday noshing and a bit of shopping. Since it was also our intention to enjoy some adult beverages along the way we decided to be responsible and take the bus, which to our surprise was a first for both of us in Chico. It was one of those great big modern clean well-upholstered buses, and for quite awhile we were the only passengers.

During our smooth ride on familiar streets I told her stories of memorable rides in Mexico, where pNut and I ride the buses everywhere, sometimes unintentionally. On the afternoon of our first visit to Mazatlan he and I walked out knee-deep into the surf, where a rogue wave instantly snatched pNut's glasses and send them twirling out to sea. Since life is otherwise quite the blur for him the rest of our vacation depended on finding him replacement lenses. The front desk clerk assured us there was a one-hour optometrist at the nearby Mall. He offered to call us a cab but also mentioned it was a quick bus ride and the next bus would go right past our hotel in just a few minutes.

MazatlanBus "Just ask the bus driver to let you off at the Mall," he advised, while I figured out our bus fare in pesos. The driver silently nodded without glancing at me when I asked him to let us know when we'd reached the Mall, and we settled in for what gradually began to seem like a very, very long ride. Never having been in Mazatlan before I had no idea where the Mall was and kept my eyes open for it, but after half an hour we gradually left the commercial zone behind and were soon bouncing along on dirt roads through increasingly dusty and poor residential areas, from pastel colored apartment buildings with wrought iron over the windows to single corrugated tin roofed huts with naked little kids and flapping chickens and burning trash piles outside. It was turning into a pretty comprehensive tour of Mazatlan, which pNut would have enjoyed had he been able to actually see anything. He was getting increasingly vocal, though, that I'd somehow missed seeing the Mall.

"Does this bus go to the Mall?" I asked the driver again, who again wordlessly nodded. We spent another 25 minutes meandering up and down dirt roads until we were the last passengers. Finally, the driver pulled into a narrow alleyway, turned the bus off...and walked away, leaving us sitting there alone.

After a few minutes' silence we got off the bus and looked around. The area was  deserted, and my rudimentary Spanish wasn't going to get us out of this even if there was someone to talk to. There was nothing to do but wait.

After a long 15 minutes a different bus driver in uniform suddenly appeared and without a glance at us started the bus and retraced the winding trip through Mazatlan's suburbs. I tried asking him about the Mall but he just shook his head. As other passengers embarked I began asking them, until a young man eager to practice his English assured me this bus did go the Mall and he would make sure we got off at the right stop. When we were back within 20 minutes of our hotel he pulled the buzzer cord for us. There was no Mall in sight as the bus pulled over. "Two blocks that way," our new friend explained, "You'll see!" We walked the two blocks in the direction he pointed (pNut by now all but certain we were being taken for an entirely different kind of ride) until what was unmistakably a Mall finally hove into view, and after our 2 hour tour of Mazatlan his glasses were mercifully replaced within a few hours.

dashboard Mexican bus Despite this early experience, or perhaps because of it (what, after all, is the worst that could happen besides being abandoned in an alley somewhere?) we've always loved riding the buses in Mexico. The buses in Puerto Vallarta are the most colorful, each one individually decorated with religious icons and phrases I write down for later translation ("Caution: Driver is drunk on love" being a favorite). Some in the fleet are so old you can see the road passing by through holes in the floorboards.

How about you-- have you had any wild or memorable bus rides?
Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud

:: Event Reporting ::
Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment

SFKossacks Holiday Lunch, A Photo Recap

Many thanks to sfbob for bringing his camera and helping out with documentation.
Here is his photo of everyone but himself:

SF Kossacks Holiday lunch meetup
~Photo Courtesy of sfbob
L-R: Meteor Blades, Glen The Plumber, Lusty, navajo, dharmasyd, citisven,
side pocket, maggiejean, remembrance, and TLO

Later, my photo to include sfbob but lost dharmasyd, oh well...

L-R: Meteor Blades, Glen The Plumber, Lusty, maggiejean, sfbob,
remembrance, TLO and citisven

Another one to get the back end of the table:
L-R: maggiejean, sfbob and side pocket

navajo, with a print of the original DK Logo, at the SF Kossacks holiday lunch
~Photo Courtesy of sfbob
navajo holding side pocket's gift of one of the original prints of the original flag guy from back in the day. Signed by the artist.

Cuteness award:
The Little One with her mac n' cheese

Requisite Food Pr0n

From Limón Rotisserie in the Mission:


Carne a la Parrilla:
Grilled marinated skirt steak over roasted chimichurry baby yukon potatoes,
red wine & demi glaze

Arroz con Mariscos:
Peruvian style paella made with saffron rice, mixture of seafood, aji amarillo pimento sauce

Pollo a la Brasa:
Limón's famous marinated free-range rotisserie chicken is slowly roasted over open flame.

One of Limón Rotisserie's sides:
Tacu-Tacu (Sauteed rice & beans)

Ensalada Rusa:
Classic Peruvian salad of fresh local beets, baby yukon potatoes, carrots,
choclo & peas tossed with Aji Amarillo aioli

Obviously, we all had a very good time.
Don't you wanna meet some Kossacks after all those great pics?
Or smoke a cigarette after all that great food pr0n?

You can join SFKossacks by sending a Kosmail to navajo.

Or look below for a group near you. There isn't one? Well, volunteer to start one. Tell us in the comments.

Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.


:: Regions Organizing ::
Send a Kosmail to the organizers and ask for an invitation to the group.
Northern Indiana Area: Kosmail Tim Delaney

Long Island: Kosmail grannycarol

Northern Michigan: Kosmail JillS

Nebraska: Kosmail Nebraska68847Dem

Westburbia Chicago Kossacks: Kosmail Majordomo

Caprock Kossacks (Panhandle/Caprock/Lubbock/Amarillo area) : Kosmail shesaid

West Texas Kossacks (including Big Bend Region and El Paso) : Kosmail Yo Bubba

Las Vegas Kossacks: Kosmail miracle11

Vermont Kossacks: Kosmail 4Freedom

Note to the above new leaders: Feel free to leave a comment any day reminding readers about your new group. Also, tell us about your progress in gathering members. Kosmail me when you've chosen a good name for your group and have created a the group. Then I'll move you to the NEW GROUPS LIST. When you've planned a date for your first event I'll make a banner for you to highlight your event in our diaries and your diaries.
These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.

California Central Valley Kossacks - Formed: Jul 29, 2012, Organizer: tgypsy

New England Kossacks - Formed: Aug 6, 2012, Organizers:
Clytemnestra for Lower New England (Conneticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)
nhox42 for Upper New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont)

Houston Area Kossacks - Formed: Aug 7, 2012, Organizer: Chrislove

Kossacks in India - Formed: Aug 14, 2012, Organizer: chandu

CenTex Kossacks - Formed: Sep 9, 2012, Organizer: papa monzano

Central Ohio Kossacks - Formed: Sep 26, 2012, Organizer: VetGrl

Kansas City Kossacks - Formed Oct 15, 2012, Organizer: [Founder stepped down]

Phoenix Kossacks - Formed Oct 16, 2012, Organizer: arizonablue

Chicago Kossacks - Formed: Oct 31, 2012, Organizer: figbash

Koscadia the Pacific Northwest coast from Northern California to Alaska  
- Formed Oct 17, 2012, Oganizer: Horace Boothroyd III based in Portland, OR

Boston Kossacks - Formed: Nov 7, 2012, Organizer: GreyHawk

Motor City Kossacks South East Michigan (Detroit) Area - Formed: Nov 10, 2012, Organizer:  peregrine kate

Pittsburgh Area Kossacks - Formed: Nov 12, 2012, Organizer: dweb8231

Salt Lake City Kossacks - Formed: Nov 17, 2012, Organizer: War on Error

Twin Cities Kossacks - Formed: Nov 17, 2012, Organizer: imonlylurking

Dallas Kossacks North Texas - Formed: Nov 21, 2012, Admins: Catte Nappe and dalfireplug. Please contact them to join the group. An Event Organizer needed.

The Southern California Inland Empire Kossacks - Formed: Dec 3, 2012, Organizer: SoCaliana

Los Angeles Kossacks - Formed: Dec 17, 2012, Organizer: Dave in Northridge  

Northeast Ohio Kossacks - Formed: Jan 16, 2013,  Organizer: GenXangster

Kansas & Missouri Kossacks - Formed: Jan 17, 2013, Organizer: tmservo433

I-77 Carolina Kossacks who live from Columbia, SC to north of Winston-Salem, NC. - Formed: Jan 30, 2013, Organizers: gulfgal98 and eeff

Indianapolis Kossacks - Formed: Feb 6, 2013, Organizer: CityLightsLover

Southwest Ohio Kossacks - Formed: May 10, 2013, Organizer: Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

Northern Arizona Kossacks - Formed:  Jul 5, 2013, Organizer: Sam Sara

Mexican Kossacks - Formed: Apr 14, 2013, Organizer: roberb7

New York Hudson Valley Kossacks - Formed: Oct 27, 2012, Organizer: boran2

North Carolina Triangle Kosmopolitans - Formed: Aug 2, 2013, Organizer: highacidity

Silicon Valley Kossacks - Formed: Oct 31, 2013, Organizer: Glen The Plumber

ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)

SFKossacks Founded by navajo, Formed: May 2, 2005

Maryland Kos Founded by timmyc, Formed: Feb 23, 2011. Contact: JamieG from Md for a group invite.

New York City Founded by Eddie C - Contact the group organizer for meet-up events: sidnora

Baja Arizona Kossacks, Event Organizer: Azazello

Three Star Kossacks Tennessee, Founded by maryKK, Formed: Apr 8, 2011

Nashville KosKats, Founded by ZenTrainer Formed: Jan 30, 2012

Virginia Kos Founded by JamieG from Md, Formed: May 3, 2011

Kos Georgia Founded by pat208, Formed: Feb 13, 2011

Colorado COmmunity Founded by Leftcandid, Formed: Feb 13, 2011

New Mexico Kossaks Founded by claude

Philly Kos Founded by mconvente Formed: Aug 29, 2011

DKos Florida Founded by ThirstyGator, Formed: Feb 14, 2011, Currently organizing: Kosmail Vetwife to be included in next event.

Oklahoma Roundup Founded by BigOkie, Formed: Feb 13, 2011, Currently organizing: Kosmail peacearena to be included.

DKos Asheville Founded by davehouck, Formed: Feb 13, 2011 - Organizing Assist by: randallt

San Diego Kossacks Founded by La Gitane, Formed: Nov 18, 2011

Massachusetts Kosmopolitans Founded by mem from somerville, Formed: Feb 13, 2011

:: Events Currently on the Books for Kossacks  ::
Sunday, January 12th
NYC Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: Noon
LOCATION:  Spitzer's Corner
101 Rivington Street (Ludlow) • NYC
Meet in the back room. This venue is wheelchair accessible.

ORGANIZER: Send sidnora a kosmail to attend.

1. sidnora
2. blue jersey mom
3. rubyr
4. kathny
5. joanbrooker
6. oxfdblue
7. mattc129
8. Bethesda1921
9. No Exit
Ian Reifowitz
Laura Clawson
isabelle hayes
Latest diary: Coming In From The Cold: January 12, A NYC Meetup!
 photo ConnecticutKossacksBannerTEXT_zps914ab0e5.jpg
 photo 1304544117_440x315_zps3766f143.jpg
Date Moving to January 2014

Connecticut Kossacks Meet-up!

LOCATION: The Shamrock Pub & Grill
210 Meadow St. • Waterbury

The Shamrock is a short walk from the MTA Metro North Station. If anyone wants to take Amtrak, thankgodforairamerica can pick you up in Meriden and drive you to the event.

ORGANIZER: Send thankgodforairamerica a kosmail to attend.

1. thankgodforairamerica
2. gchaucer2

Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment
 photo GrizzlyIsland_zps294e19df.jpg
Sunday, January 26th

SFKossacks Welcome matching mole to San Francisco!

TIME: TBD, daytime car trip to the Delta for birding with lineatus
LOCATION: Grizzly Island Wildlife Area
2548 Grizzly Island Road • Suisun City
lineatus will have a spotting scope and a few spare pairs of binoculars, so novices can have something to use.

ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.

1. lineatus
2. matching mole
3. navajo
4. tgypsy
5. kimoconnor

TIME: TBD, evening event for city folk and to celebrate dharmasyd's and kimoconnor's birthdays!
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.

1. lineatus
2. matching mole
3. navajo
4. dharmasyd
5. side pocket
6. norm
7. kimoconnor
8. Glen The Plumber
9. remembrance
10. TLO
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]

Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 07:25 AM PST.

Also republished by SFKossacks.

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