miércoles, 25 de agosto de 2010

Scouts and skirts: Bayden-Powell would have approved

Despite being in denial for some time, today I am fully aware that I possess the navigational skills of a little girl and yet, I continue to put my GPS under unnecessary strain. I draw attention to this fact merely because I have realised that I promised, some time ago, that I ought to retell a few rather important adventures, intentionaly and non-intentionally that way, which called on me to lean on absent boy scout skills...

“...There lies in this city a ridiculous public transport system. I was aware that there would come a time when I would have to take its reins and march a little closer to ‘knowing’ the place and immersing myself in the waves of smugness that inevitably follow. That time had come, I was due to congregate with other persons and so I took it upon myself to plan my journey by the means the "colectivo". I had a brief glance at the ‘GUIA T’( guide book for bus routes...they are all public owned and therefore move independently and unfortunately, temperamentally) in the hope that I might have my next steps planned. Thus, fueled by enthusiasm, a touch of Hendrick’s gin, bus numbers, a few road names and the arrogance of youth, I saw it a royal time as any to set off, which I did....in the wrong direction.

“Well Freddie, look at you, finally brushing off the considerable doubt of hypothetical scout leaders......”

I was so very pleased with myself that I continued to boldly plough on, certain that the road names I should have been reading were waiting for me patiently. They were indeed, just not where I was heading. I had wandered into the heart of Constitución (I live on the edge, everyday flirting with danger and my three Peruvian girls). I was in the heart of darkness: the heart of the city’s quite delightful crime epicentre and ‘transvestite prostitution market’. One cannot find a female prostitute in the heart of darkness, the market, it would seem, is a tad specific.

By the time my rational voice had crept up on me and quietly whispered:
“Umm Freddie”
“Yes,” I duly replied.
“It would appear that we’re trotting in the wrong direction old fellow. Oh, and one more thing....we’re surrounded by men in skirts; this is not Sparta.”
“Well that’s very observant of....”
“Well...does this strike you as a salmon pink trouser and cerulean blue top type of area?...you’re a lamb in lambs’ clothing Frederick, no good can come of this.”....

It was as if the fog of enthusiasm had cleared and there I stood, in all my Surrey-Kent border glory, standing erectly in a dark street whilst prostitutes accumulated around me. The whistling started, the taunts...the probing questions...:

“Hey, white boy, why you here!”
“What you looking for?”
“Where you going?”....by and large a fairly deep and meaningful set of questions. Does anyone ever know where they are going...

Soon pimps began to join our jolly, philosophical party. I began to quicken my pace, aware that my time was somewhat limited and soon, Freudian retorts would not satisfy the appetites of my new best friends.

I had to get in a taxi, a bus...I would ride a small marsupial should one pass. Alas, there were no taxis, neither marsupials. There was a bus with a number I knew not but a destination that had to be better than my current one. I jumped on and peered out the window at the wake of high heels and pressured equipment I had left behind.

Moral of the story: “just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.” Interpret that how you will.

1 comentario:

  1. great story again.. I think the bus solution is something they should put in the lonely planet!!! One rectification though, the bus services are all private owned..

    tell us more stories