lunes, mayo 29, 2006

Some cueca will keep me warm.

I just warmed my hands using the bulb in a small lamp near my bed. It’s a tiny little thing, so I can only warm a few fingers at a time. I am miserably cold. Santiago apartments/houses have no insulation. When it gets really cold, people use little gas stoves - estufas. You can’t leave the little stoves on at night because carbon monoxide from the gas will kill you in your sleep. When the weather first started getting colder, a friend told me that since winters here are not as harsh as they might be in places like the US, people are not especially concerned about heating their homes. They just wear more clothes. I walk around the house wearing my winter jacket and a scarf! If that doesn’t work, I down a cup of boiling hot tea. When the tea fails, I resort to alcohol. Thankfully, I'll be able to laugh at all of this very soon. On Saturday I enter a hemisphere well on it’s way to summer. Goodbye numb limbs, hello mosquito bites!

In memory of warmer days, I bring you some photos. At least once every weekend I take a walk from my house to a crafts fair at a place called Los Dominicos. It is a very cute outdoor setup where they sell Chilean jewelry/art/crafts. It’s mostly the good stuff, so you can’t expect much in the way of cheap souveniers. Each vendor is housed in a little adobe (made of special mud) hut.

Overall, a pleasant place to walk around.

One time I went there with my camera and saw this. A guy was dressed up in old-skool costume to dance the cueca with anyone who wanted to learn.

The cueca is Chile’s national dance. It’s done with both male and female waving white handkerchiefs. With their movements, they try to imitate the courting ritual between roosters and hens. I can't distinguish any particular way to move during this dance. It all seems very spontaneous. Either that, or it's just so very complicated that my untrained eye can't spot specific moves. Poor man had been out in the sun for hours trying to get a woman to dance with him. Then out of the blue come these two little girls. At this point I am thinking - oh boy! How is this going to work? I soon took all skepticism back as these girls proceeded to rock the house. Honestly, both looked like trained professionals. Wow, were they good!

What did I learn from this experience? No matter how young, all Latins can shake it. It's in their blood. Lucky them. Aww:


Anonymous Anónimo said...

yolandaaaaa dancin da cueca and huddling over a lightbulb to keep varm? ufufuf...vell you certainly von't have to do dis ven you get back. it vas 91 freakin degrees today >_< although knowing you, you'll still vear a hoody and 3 layers under dat in dis veather.

-da keet

11:54 p. m.  

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