The metro in Santiago is a bit of a marvel. It's clean, it's fast, it has Wifi, a library, art and strangely, music videos in some stations. It's not terribly expensive by our standards here, and kind of gets you where you need to go. Since Transantiago, a transporation overhaul based on the disastrous transportation overhaul undertaken in Bogotá (always good to base your new projects on other countries' failed ones), it's been a bit of a bear. It's terribly crowded at all hours, and there are yellow-jacketed security people corralling you this way and that so you don't stub your toe. Or something.
They also yell at you if you take a picture, but it was totally worth it because this one came out more or less how I'd hoped.
I basically bike all over the city. Really. I seldom take the metro, or the bus, preferring one of my two-wheeled steeds for independence, speed, price, and exercise. But last night, the boyfriend and I were showing a visitor from the UK/Riyadh around, and so onto the metro we went.
Normally we use one of these to get on the metro (though they do sell tickets), and they're obligatory on the bus. Before you go pronouncing it like it's spelled, consider the fact that it's in Spanish. Bip (say BEEP). That's the sound it makes when you wave it in front of the dealie-do on the bus or metro. BEEP. How cute.
Tomorrow I shall tell the story of precisely how we came to not get our money back when the part of the metro that we needed went out of service, but how we came to be the owners of these.
I'm sure you're absolutely on the edge of your seat with anticipation, but let me assure you, it all ends well, with a pair of Asics Gel Foundation (motion control!) running shoes getting me all the way home. For price and exercise it was great, but I'd have to say it was somewhat slower than the metro.