Thursday, May 21, 2009
In Iquique, Chile. Gritty ocean air backed up by muted mountains. Fishing boats and sea lions, salty shells and jewel green seaweed. I am so happy to be in a hotel and not in a bus. The sides of buildings are spraypainted and there are holes like mouths in the sidewalks. Breasts nearly fall out of shirts worn too tight on hot Chilean ladies with their boyfriend´s hand around their hips. Toddlers in sailor suits, handsome and kicking toy cars down the street. Men barking, helado, helado, helaaado, and then when we walk by, ice cream, good price. Blankets line the boardwalk, selling cartoon stickers and coloring books, jewelry and flashy blouses. People are friendly, charming, speak quickly and ad ¨cito¨to the end of everything. An older man called me ¨baby¨and I called him ¨Abuelo.¨ Empanada boys asked D to marry them, claimed she was the love of their life. We didn´t get free empanadas out of the deal, but everyone was laughing. This is how I envisioned South America.