I would love to develop this more, but there isnt a lot time right now, but here goes.
Yesterday, I went to Managua for a meeting. I got on the regular $1.50 bus in the morning and settled in next to 2 women. The busses here are old school busses from the states, so keep that in mind. Every seat was packed and people were crammed into the isle. You had to push to get out. The man behind me was carrying his machete to cut some firewood or harvest some plantains. The woman in from of me had 2 live chickens in a bag that she was probably going to sell at the market. People carried their belongings in plastic bags and mostly wore tearing sandles. It was a long, stuffy 2 hour ride. It started to rain, so all of the windows were closed. We got to Managua and crammed 7 of us into a taxi for a 45 minute ride accross the city that involved waiting for the horse cart to pass and a child throwing up out the window.
After the meeting, we hurried to a nice taxi that had all of the knobs inside and were charged a fair rate, and it was just 2 of us. We got there in time to get the express bus back home...it costs $3. Live chickens, fruit baskets, and machetes were replaced by iPods and mp3 playing cell phones. The bus was quiet and nobody tried to sell me fruit so that they could eat dinner that night.
For those who dont know, that is Nicaragua. $1.50 is all the difference in the world. $1.50 defines those who can barely afford to get to where they HAVE to go and those who commute 2 hours so they dont have to see poverty. $1.50.