Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
1) Cambios - these are people who change dollars to soles and vice versa. I have absolutely no idea how they make any money, as there are dozens of them standing on central streets brandishing their calculators, and they only charge a sol per transaction.
2) Kerb-crawling Ticos - these taxis are desperate for passengers. Since Chiclayo's public transportation system has disintegrated there has been an explosion of Japanese made Ticos cruising the city streets. As they are badly regulated, there are far too many per capita. As a result, the competition is very fierce and they stop directly in front of you when you are crossing the road (making it very difficult to cross) and constantly shout out to innocent pesdestrians, to try badger them into taking their taxi.
3) Children and campesinos - begging (whinging) in a most pitiful way, showing you their family member's prescriptions, trying to sell you candies.
4) Vendors - vast numbers of people selling fruit, jelly, little ice-creams, super-glue, wallets, gum, you name it, roam the main streets searching for a sale.
5) Piranitas - this is the Spanish nickname for the youths who cruise the streets in pairs or gangs, looking for likely victims for pick-pocketing or purse-snatching.
6) Restaurant Promoters - who list all their dishes and try to drag you in as you pass.
7) Shoe shine boys - who would shine you flip-flops if you let them.
Of course, you quickly learn to become oblivious to all this chaos around you, if you don't want to be driven round the twist...