Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Back to Basic
5 december 2009
Back to Basic
‘Headed for a new adventure’ , I hear myself think.
A combi stops. I grab the trunk and try to open it. Closed. The driver pushes gaz again. Bastard. I look back if I can see a cab. Several pass by, but all are full. One stops, a guy steps out. He is calling. When I want to sit in the front of the car, the driver tells me that the seat is wet. Ok, in the back then.
‘Cruz del Sur’. The name of the bus company. As we drive down the road, I see that the combis are all piled up in front of the university.
We go left. We’re not supposed to go left. A shortcut ? Can’t be. This road is not maintained. Right.
At the moment when I ask the driver why he drives here, I know I’m fucked. I look for other people in this dark alley, but I see no one. Then, both backdoors open at once.
‘POLICE !’ They scream.
‘Sure’ I think.
A rough hand covers my eyes.
Not even a week ago, I was lodged high up in the village of Tanta. Tanta's weird. The only way to get there, is by taking a seven hour truck trip with about 30 sheep, and just as many people. The village has 6 soccer fields : one of them on an island in the middle of a rageing river, which finds its source a few hours’ walk uphill. There are two arenas for bullfights : one for every 200 inhabitants. After sunset, all men in the village are drunk of beer. A beer in Peru costs more than a meal. It’s sad.
Because I’m a gringo, all drunk guys want to speak to me. Speaking, screaming and blabbering are very hard to distinguish at that point. I have avoided the streets after sunset. Nights were cold. I was happy when the mornings came, to do my interviews with the poorly educated, but very friendly inhabitants.
The final morning, I went for a walk uphill, for a final glance at Pariacaca ; the mountain that, according to the villagers, is both good and bad to us. River on the left, blocks of houses on the right, I walked towards the bridge.
Is it when you least expect to look the unknown in the eyes, that she presents herself to you ?
Just at the moment when I pass the final block of houses, my soul is called by the mesmerizing gaze of a dying lama. She dies in the next instant. I only notice the knife in her neck when she’s gone. The men take it out, and cut of her head. When the blood reaches my feet, I say bye to the killers, and go on. Her spirit has left now anyway . I saw it fly, dissolve into thin air. It´s her meat that counts now. I have eaten it, maybe that’s why I kept watching. I go up, and see Pariacaca disappear behind the clouds.
The way back was shaky but gorgeous. The sheep did not like it at all. They too lost a lot of blood that night.
But what does all that matter, when you’re sitting blindfolded on the ground behind the driver’s seat of a taxi, with no clue where you are going, or what will happen next ?
The first question I get, after I calmed them down (which is hard, because they don't trust me for some reason), is ‘Where are your bank cards ?’ I give them my wallet and explain that my bankcard is the black one with the coloured clouds. I guess that explaining that those clouds are actually fractals will not serve them, so I leave that part out. I wonder if they notice it’s coolness though.
They ask me the code.
I don’t know the code.
All I know is that it has the form of Orion. I try to picture a keypad, but the fact that they say they will cut my fingers of if I make a mistake, troubles my mind.
‘I need to see a keypad’
‘No, you can’t, just think of the code’
The code I come up with, starts with the first numbers of postal code, which, I find out a little later, looks remarkably like my card code. Because I like my fingers, I finally convince them to show me the keypad of a celphone. It’s easy now, they have the right code. I can sit back and relax.
One thief leaves the car with my bank card. We keep driving. The other thief adjusts my scarf from time to time, yet I keep adjusting it back.
We chat, my interviewer’s mind comes up, and I ask him how many people resist more or less.
‘Those who do end up badly’ he says with an evil voice. I find it hard to beleive him, but I ask my question again. Just to fuck a little with his mind. It takes a while before he lets me know there are very few. I slowly realise the guy I’m talking with is more afraid than I. After a while, I’m even makeing fun of him. He won’t hurt me, coz I keep him calm. He says they’re from Lima, yet by speaking over the speakers, a lady denies that at once. No daytime job.
Pancho, the third guy, enters the cab again. This time he sits in front.
‘Hi Pancho’, I say, but there is no reply
‘He says : Hi Pancho’ says the guy in the back.
‘Hi’ says Pancho
‘Be carefull not to wet your arse’, I tell him, but they don’t laugh.
After about 45 minutes of cruising, the guy in the back explains me I have to get out of the car and count till 50. Then I can take my scarf of my eyes.
‘Or do you want a bullet in your head?’ It’s the evil voice again. I can’t take him seriously, but it’s not worth the risk to check if I am right. He wants me to lie face down on the ground. It’s wet, so I refuse. They’re off.
…39, 40, … I take the scarf of my head, and walk back home. No more laptop, no more backpack. They left me my small bag, with my paperwork, my cool bankcard, my book and very little clothes. I feel light.
A song comes to my mind. ‘De wereld, heeft mij failliet verklaart, ik heb me nog nooit zo goed, en licht gevoeld als nu’ (The world declared me bankrupt. I have never felt so good and so light as now)
It is only two days later that I find out that somewhere in the country of my roots, the spirit of Ramses Shaffy, author of this song and inspiration to the free, dissolved around that time.
5 december 2009 12:05 | Door: Madelon
5 december 2009 20:59 | Door: Alex
Het is een verbazingwekkend lot waar men jou mee stoort. Fijn dat je je vingers nog hebt zeg.
..ben je nu al je data kwijt?
"De weg is vrij, de weg is open, de weg is MATELOOS van mij...Zonder bagage kan ik weer lopen, want ik BEN nu vogelvrij..."
6 december 2009 18:50 | Door: Renske
Jezus Gilles wat ben je toch een gek :-)
Goed verhaal in ieder geval - wel kut van je data en belangrijke spullen :-( ben blij dat je nog leeft.
7 december 2009 14:38 | Door: Dirk
Nou nou, wat een verhaal. Het kost dan wel wat, maar dit vertel je nog als je 80 bent.(wat je nu dus gewoon gaat halen) :-)
18 december 2009 05:17 | Door: Kris
Next time please count to 50. Stay safe.
3 juli 2011 16:07 | Door: Anne
Wat een goed verhaal! Ik had dit nog nooit gelezen, maar het is echt geweldig geschreven! Vooral grappig dat er onder staat : 'net alles Gilles naar Peru? ' Nou nee, dank je eventjes...Kus van de zus