I think a major part of being in the Peace Corps is learning to laugh at yourself. Marshutkas here are definitely part of that laughing at yourself. I mean how else can you deal with being shoved into a crammed van and hurling down the highway as anything but hilarious. Today, I almost took a face plant into the seat in front of me when the driver decided that he did not want to get into a wreck.
I am fine, and honestly the whole thing is just funny. Cars here drive in such a interesting way. They like to ride the lines and swerve as much as possible. There are coded hand gestures and car honks that indicate the intentions of the people waiting for the marshutka and the drivers.
Also, marshutkas have the best decorations. Random stickers that say "Blood Driver" or have pictures of UGa bulldog plaster the side of these machines that take me around Azerbaijan.
In side the marshutka, one will find decorations of dried flowers, the evil eye, and anything else. The music is often loud and if it is not Azeribaijani pop, it is really bad American pop. The whole ride is always an adventure.