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Published: February 15th 2009
These kids were in traditional costumes playing conch shells to entertain people going into the church. The church is connected to market, thus the Visas sign
*clapping hands* I did it! Got over my nervousness of going alone to local bus station and traveling on crowded bus to Pisaq. Once I figured where to line up, I had my money ready for the bus ticket. I didn´t have to say a word; when the clerk saw my blue eyes he said ´Pisac´and I said ´si´and paid my three soles for a window seat. 3 soles is about $1:25 and for that you drive through beautiful mountain country for an hour to get to the Sunday market at Pisaq.
Actually, I do not like markets, I prefer to people watch and walk down other alleys of the town. Tourism is a bit depressing. Nobody dresses in those colourful costumes and goes to work or school. The global community wears jeans, sweaters, jackets. Too many times when I looked at somebody in a poncho I noted that they were talking on a cell phone. Yikes.
Tourism is big business; it is the number one industry of my province. University students get dressed in kilts and play music at Peggy´s Cove as a summer job, so it makes sense that men, women and children haul out the costumes and crafts
While her mother washed clothes in the stream, Chara posed for my camera.....for coins in my pocket.
in this mountainous tourist hotspot. It must be easier work than growing potatoes on the steep inclines.
Today I quickly walked through the market filled with the same things in the Cusco markets, and went uphill to the ruins. I only got as far as the base, my lungs have not ajusted well enough for me to get to the top. Looking over the village and river, I tried to imagine the place 500 years ago, when the slopes would be covered with forests and I would be sitting at the base of an Inca shrine.
There was a mountain stream beside me, and a women was washing her clothes in the water. Her three daughters played in the rocks beside her. Through sign language, I asked if I could take the woman´s picture and she laughed and indicated ýes for some money´. The girls came over to see the photo, and I took pictures of them. They were delighted to see their images in the camera, and of course, I had to give them more change from my pocket. Soon they were setting up poses and group shots and I laughingly took their pictures until I had no more
Catching up with laundry on a Sunday afternoon
coins. Later, when I walked passed them, Chara came up to me and passed me a small figurine and motioned for me to pay her for it. I said ´nos, gracias, as kindly as I could. I wondered if I was part of the global corruption that can affect people. It seemed proper to ask the mother for a photo for money, but these girls were playing in their own world and I was the gringo who came up and gave money for their poses.
When driving on the bus, sitting beside the boy with a box of chicks I mused that this is Peru culture. When he got off and the lady in a coat like mine at home and a colourful cloth bundle fell asleep beside me, I wondered what it must be like to grow up here. Quite peaceful it seems, but with backbreaking work farming or hauling water or washing clothes in a mountain stream. Part of me thinks it would be good for the soul to live a simpler life, and the other part is really happy that the hotel cleans and folds my laundry when needed.
There is a common sentiment in many blogs
I think there was a waterfall beside the Pisaq ruins and this streamed flowed from it.
written in this website, that being "we are all one family". I wish I could describe the shared smiles with strangers, the conversation with body movements and two languages, the sense of knowing when you look into someones eyes and understand that they just had the same thought, and the kindness that strangers can give to each other.
Although I get fed up with global culture and consumerism, I am totally loving the views, environment and people.
The photos in this blog work backwards, showing scenes from the bus ride, some more of Cusco, my Peruvian lunch today, and then Cusco at night.
The food was delicious. I had never eated yuca, the black tube vegetable. An interesting vegetable, its texture was creamy and taste was something above bland. The cheese on the omlette was tasty too.
The last photo notes the cultural folding when pubs are set up in Peru. The Irish and Chinese seem to establish pubs or restaurants in every city that I visit. It was unusual to see a posh British pub in a foreign city but I suppose that is the nature of the tourist industry. And as a consumer, I was happy
This stream runs through the village and into the river. Hope she isn´t using too much phosphorous soap.
to sip my dark ale.
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