28 sep. 2014

Short travel story #2 - “Vote for me!

September 2014, Chiclayo, Peru

top photo (with me in front) by Ivan Effio Huidobro

How did I end up here?! Walking with my baby-girl in the small very present crowd.
In front of me I see a lot of white, supported by some blue and red, shirts, flags and banners. Banners that show a photo of how the situation is now in a street and in the photo next to it what it will look like in the nearby future if you would vote for this party.

They are enthusiastic shouting for their party. They walk fast, driven and a positive vibe can be felt.
The main three candidates walk and in times run in front of the crowd stopping at whichever house people show up, shaking hands, making short conversations, and giving out their party’s t-shirts, caps, flyer’s and candy. Some people try to drag others out of their houses to join them.

My baby-girl seems more popular at times than the candidates. Some of the girls, remembering her name, can hardly handle their love towards her and have to take her hand or talk to her when they pass by. She hardly responds back, just looking curious of what this crowd is all about.

Now I understand the interesting and new sight to me of all the paintings on the buildings I saw when just entering Peru. It has all to do with this election. Vote for me! No, for me!
Maybe the owner of the wall is lucky and gets a little money out of it by allowing his place labeled.

I came to Ecuador almost eight months ago just at election times and when I arrived a month ago in Peru I came into the exact same situation. Everywhere posters of candidates: mostly unhealthy overweight looking men passed their forties.
I've also figured out by now that the bigger the campaign and the more dirty tricks they have up their sleeves, the more changes they have of succeeding.

But practising what they preach? I doubt it a lot. Even though I used to be active myself I have started to feel estranged to this world of politics

“Hello.” The apparently used-to-be-famous TV comedian, with his strange hat: so people will recognize his specialness, addresses me. Briefly I feel the famous one here: the white-female-traveler.
He asks something about where I’m from and where I’m staying. I can’t help getting the feeling: I-am-famous-so-I can-screw (pardon my words) -anyone. But I am trying to stay kind and open-minded that I’m wrong. Though my bad Spanglish (for even that mix is already bad) saves me from further conversation.

My shoulders are getting weary of carrying her. I’m still holding the t-shirt* in my hand. No, I said as friendly as I could, I will not wear it. I can not vote or support a party I do not know and isn´t even green. Though still I let my curiosity and free time take me with them.

Suddenly I´m very aware of where I am by seeing him standing up high on the goal of the soccer field. Clicking away. I am in his frame. I wave, I smile. His manly posture, but functional reason to be up their, makes me smile and aroused.
I take a moment to breath in this moment, before walking on. Letting him do his job.

Everything makes me aware: I am in a new and strange country to me and the old one where I’ve spend most of my life, I feel, I am just as much estranged to.

* Want to become the owner of this shirt? Check the the Viv travel-art-shop

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