If you are ever unlucky enough to brave the wilds of Transantiago, you might hear the familiar chant of "CHOCOLATE! VAINILLA! CHIRIMOYA! FRUTILLA!" Don't be afraid; go towards the light…the sweet, sugary, refreshing light of ice cream being sold on the bus, or micro, as it's called in Chile. The transportation system in Santiago may be beleaguered with long lines and impatient riders, but there is one redeeming quality: micro vendors.

Micro vendors tend to be darting men who ask the micro driver permission to sell goods on his bus. With a nod of the head, many vendors take one pass up and one pass down the aisle, so be quick and decisive. A hand filled with pesos motioning toward your desired buy is the Chilean way of flagging down elusive micro vendors.

For a quick taste of the energy-dense cuisine the country has to offer, capitalize on the vendors and buy a BIP! card to ride the micro. Sit back, relax, maybe take a nap and wait for the wares to come to you. Most candy is sold for a meager 100 pesos, or 20 cents. Not bad, considering you get a cultural experience at the same time as your sugar rush. Priceless, one might say. Try the first masterpiece that is sure to come your way, the ever-present "Super Ocho." This candy bar is basically wafer covered in chocolate, pretty unimpressive and unsatisfying, but worth the experience (if only to know you shouldn't buy it again).

Micro vendors are an enterprising lot, and commonly sell things other than candy. Don't be surprised if you see toothbrushes, ankle braces, or even a needle and thread. Strange. That is, unless you need to make out with curiously fresh breath, to stabilize the ankle you turned while piss-ass drunk, or stitch up the seam you busted in your ass. All while riding the bus. Then, it's just practical.

The least safe but ultimately most promising rides occur at night. This is when the illegal micros come out to whisk you away from the bad decisions you just made at the club. If you time it well enough you can participate in even more illegal activities…I mean buying beer from a micro vendor, of course. And, hey, you just might even get to your destination.