I know I've mentioned the bus more often that I probably should, but, having been born and raised in the suburbs, the bus is an entirely new experience for me. The metro and buses in DC were a lot to handle, and those were pretty chill in retrospect.
Just to give you an idea of the green buses, they do have designated stops. I'm not entirely sure how there were chosen, since they seem to be everywhere from the sides of highways to the edge of an exit ramp. I'm sure there's a reason, I just haven't deciphered it as of yet.
Additionally, the helper on the bus (the guy [or lady, but more often the guy] who collects the bus fare and calls out the destination of the bus) has to run to the machine that marks how many routes they've run. The goal of this is to do it as rapidly as possible, preferably without stopping the bus completely. Most of the time, the driver slows down a lot; but one time, he had barely started to hit the brakes when the helper leaped out of the bus, almost falling flat on his face. However, he was clearly skilled, as he efficiently got the stamp and jumped back onto the bus before we had to actually come to a complete stop as approved by the DMV drive-test-givers.
The other important thing to know is that, although there are designated stops, anywhere can be a stop if you have the balance to get to the front of the bus and the guts to jump off when it slows down enough. Generally, this is more acceptable as a young man, because we would actually have to stop for women, children, and what is referred to as the "third generation" to get off the bus safely. I've started to appreciate the efficiency of certain bus drivers, while developing an impatience for those who stop completely and spend time calling for more passengers.
That being said, I recognize my own complete selfishness in wanting the bus to stop completely for me to get off the bus or for me to get on, preferably not starting again until I am well established in my seat. While my balance has improved incredibly (thanks, core strength), I was not prepared when, today, I was the last one to be getting on the full bus, which started moving when I had barely grabbed the railing and just managed to get one foot on the step. Once the men in front of me moved aside, I was able to actually get securely on the bus, though I had to remain standing for a while until a seat emptied. The ride to Cumbaya is far more of a challenge standing than that to the south of Quito.
I don't know what lesson I learned, but I do know I'll try to be careful. In the meantime, I'll work on my grace and poise (though it's difficult with a last name like mine) on the bus rides.