Thursday, February 22, 2007

Carnival lessons

Lesson 1 of Carnival in Banos: Never travel in an open-sided bus, as it makes you a sitting duck for the roadside hordes of miniature reprobates (who should be in school, or at least out milking the llamas) armed with buckets of water. What was supposed to be a nice, scenic tour of Banos´many waterfalls turned into a bloodbath, as our open bus was hit with bucket after bucket of water. And when you´re travelling at 60kph, a bucket of cold water in the face is about as pleasant as a bucket of cold water in the face, but much much more forceful. Oh yes, it was all very funny for the kiddies, but Miss Tolerance (that´s me) was definitely NOT amused, and in absence of any of my own weaponry with which to retaliate, took to screaming abuse at them (and we´re talking the full spectrum of very rude four-letter words).
Thankfully for everyone else involved, no one spoke English either in or outside the bus, so the sight of a foreign woman going apoplectic was very amusing and earned much laughter and cheers. Poor Phil, being of English origin, understood every word and was cringing onto the floor of the bus. After a while it turned into a little joke, as in one occasion when two boys threw water balloons at us, missing by a country mile. I screamed "Your aim is SHIT!" at them, and at that exact moment, the bus decided to pull up to let some passengers off. The little boys, realising their moving target was now stationary (and made a more provocative target by the mad screaming foreign woman - me) darted off and quickly returned armed with buckets of water, which they proceeded to drench us all with. Oops.
Another completely unrelated incident worth a giggle happened in Areqipa. Phil and I were strolling back to our hotel after a pleasant dinner, and passed a few boys having a hit of a softball, who we gave a wide berth to. A sensible adult would of course wait until the strolling tourists were well passed before hitting the ball again, but being kids, they obviously didn´t think of that. So the softball was pitched, whacked, and with uncanny accuracy, got Phil square in the back of the head.
There was a long moment of shocked silence. Phil turned around to look at the boys, who I swear all simultaneously shat themselves. But once it was obvious to him and me that he wasn´t injured, we both burst out laughing, partly from surprise but mainly because of the expression on these boys´ faces. They were terrified that Phil was going to string them up by their undescended testicles, or at least I´m sure that´s what they imagined.
It´s all fun and games until someone clocks the big tourist.


Phil said...

Bianca didn't really paint a truthful picture of herself shouting at the kids who soaked us. To get a true picture you need to be thinking Linda Blair of the exorcist. Jumping out of her seat and hanging out of the bus etc. Scary.

Unknown said...

I think we get the picture. Good warning for future travellers.

BSharp said...

Well dur! You went to place whose name means "bath" in Spanish.

Looking forward to seeing you guys sometime, and joint slavering over our Macchu Picchu pictures. You've been getting some awesome shots.

canal.steve said...

Glad to see that you weren't intimidated and did your bit for international relations. There wouldn't by any chance be a video.....?