Thursday, December 13, 2007
Public Bus in the Triple Border Intro
Sign on JK Avenue telling pedestrians not to get into the TTU through here (Author's photo)
Moving around by public bus in the Triple Border Area of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay
The secret of moving around by bus in Foz do Iguaçu is to understand how the – Pedro Antonio de Nadai Urban Transport Terminal or just TTU works. The TTU occupies a sizeable area in downtown Foz do Iguaçu between Avenida Juscelino Kubitscheck (JK) – running roughly South-North, and the Rua Tarobá where the Bosque Guarani Municipal Zoo is located. On an East-West course, the TTU is squeezed between the Travessa Luiz Gama and the Rua (Street) Mem de Sá.
If you remember that millions of Brazilians survive on a minimal monthly misery wage that only now, after hundreds of years of struggle, has just bordered on the USD 150 mark, paying R$ 2.00 for a bus ride in town to be taken to and from work, twice a day, is a lot of money (some people say it is a theft). The TTU has been created as a way to cut down part of that spending. Thanks to the TTU’s Transporte Integrado (Integrated Transportation) concept you can take a bus from the Airport in Foz do Iguaçu, get off at the TTU and board a second bus “free” to another area of the city. Integrated buses are identified by either a white-lettered sign on the bus’ “forehead” or on a small black or white-lettered , handpainted (emergency) small sign located somewhere easy to see in the bus anatomy – preferrably the front of the vehicle.
As I have already mentioned, the official and only entrance to the TTU is on the JK Avenue. The back of the TTU is located strategically across from the entrance to the Park Guarani City Zoo (in case you want to visit).
The sides of the TTU are limited by the Rua Mém de Sá (Street) to the North and by Travessa Luiz Gama to the South. The TTU’s neighbor on its front side is the Fortified and electrified wall of the 34th Motorized Infantry Batallion – 34th BIMTZ, for short. The TTU lies between Foz do Iguaçu’s center proper and the Vila Paraguaia – a little Paraguayan enclave dating back from the glorious days of General Stroessner’s dictatorship (1954 – 1988). Guarani is understood by most of the older people and Spanish is (hopefully) understood by all. Also nearby on the JK Avenue is the Muffato Supermarket – strategically explored by backpackers from the whole world. Backpackers go their for mineral water and food. Something that is very interesting is that the 34th BIMTZ is called The Batalhão Republica do Paraguai (Battalion Republic of Paraguay) and is located on the Avenida República Argentina.
On more than half a dozen special days, the BIMTZ receives authorities from both Argentina and Paraguay. I dare to say that if you want to hear the Paraguayan or Argentine national anthems well sung with voices that hold the right tune from beginning to end you should listen to them as they are sung by Brazilian soldiers accompanied by the BIMTZ’s military band. Well I don’t think I will be beheaded because of this remark. Will I? Now let me go back to safer ground and concentrate on the TTU.