Tuesday, April 19, 2011


(That was fast wasn't it?)

(also, did you know Vignette originally meant "something that may be written on a vine-leaf"? Way cooler than online.)

One great thing (or bad thing) about living in a city is seeing a bit of other people's daily lives played out in front of you. At every moment that you are outside your house or apartment, you are surrounded by people - commuting, working, loving, hating, befriending, crying, eating, sleeping. Here's a few I've seen.

Two little boys, one around five and one around two years of age, where sitting on their dad's (I assume) knees on the micro. Like all Peruvian children, they were adorable. Their dad gave them each a lollipop and their first reaction was to cram them into their mouths and then using the little sticks, still in their mouths, to have a miniature sword fight. It was like Eskimo kissing (Inuit kissing? Rubbing noses? What's correct here?) but more dangerous. On the jerkily moving micro, I wasn't sure if it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen or one of the more deadly. Luckily, the dad stopped them before someone lost an eye.

Along the Malecon (the beautiful walk on the cliffs, featured in my photo) there are many delicious little garden niches on the edge of the cliff, walled off from the sidewalk by a low, brick wall. People often ignore the wall and find a cozy spot to contemplate their insignificance compared to the steep drop and infinite ocean, or their long lost love, or their future career choices or....ok so that might just be me. But people do sit out there. Teens thinking they're sneaky, life-contemplators, and often couples looking for some privacy. I saw a couple standing by the wall at a particularly beautiful and flowery little corner. The man jumped the fence and I smiled (Couples make-out in public all the time here, but I was having a benevolent-smile-at-the-young-love afternoon, not a stop-salivating-over-each-other-it's-gross outlook I sometimes have). As I passed by and glanced back at them, I sent blessings in my mind to this couple and their time watching the sunset.
Except he was peeing.
On the bush. Giving me a lovely frontal view.
She was...standing guard? Oh. Not quite so romantic then. Or pleasant.

A woman came on our micro selling chocolates. She held a baby in her arms as she leaned against a seat of the moving bus and told us of being a single parent and how hard she had to work. These venders are everywhere and it is always heart-rending to see them. As she stood there, the woman whose seat she leaned against reached up and tied her baby's show, which was perilously close to falling off . Not even breaking the flow of her speech, the vender said gracias. The woman checked the baby's other shoe as well, then settled back into her seat. Complete strangers, in a city not known for its concern for them. Just a tiny gesture, but strangely intimate, and hey, no one wants to lose a shoe.

All of these little instances made me pause and think, whether in laughter, revulsion, or a little cheesin'-it-up belief-in-mankind happiness. You go, LimeƱos. You go.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the blog visit, Mary Ellen!! I like yours too! (No extremely irritating, there-no-hope-for-humanity stories? I've got plenty ;)

    Here's a couple things I've learned about bloggin abroad:

    1. A little at a time. People like reading short, and then you don't dread writing them and can do it often.

    2. Pictures! Cause people love 'em.

    3. Occasionally post on a link fb, when you think it's of general interest. Then people find you.

    Fun times. You wanna do a blog for CIEE soon? And then we can link your blog there too :)