Monday, May 19, 2008

Peru: "Amazonas" (Pt. 9)

See "Brando, Parts 1,2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 Below

Later that afternoon, returning from the market, we were walking back along the Avenida, when suddenly I heard loud, husky voices barking “Amozonas, Amozonas.” It was a group of soldiers dressed in black standing on the steps of the National Bank, holding automatic weapons. They were pointing and laughing our way.

“What the hell!?” I looked to Brando for direction. He puffed himself up and waved a hand like John Wayne in a Memorial Day parade.

“What are they saying?” I asked.

“They are yelling Amazons. I guess because we’re big.”

Then I realized where we were. “Nope,” I said. “Look across the street. That’s where the Italian had his cart set up. They must have seen the whole thing.”

The soldiers were still looking and laughing. “I’m glad it’s OK with them.”

Back at the Plaza, we ran into the rest of our group. They looked concerned.

Remember that fellow with whom we had tea at the café the first day,” asked one of the women. “We just saw him. He came up yelling and crying. He said you broke his fingers. What the hell happened?”

Brando and I looked at one another. I don’t think it was possible. I didn’t feel anything pop.

“No way,” I assured her.

“His hand was all wrapped up,” she retorted. “He said you choked him, too.”

For some reason, they seemed to sympathize with him. I couldn’t understand why.

“Well, I don’t know,” I offered. “He seems dangerous.”

And with that, we went our ways, agreeing to meet for dinner.

“Did you break his fingers,” Brando asked me.

“I don’t think so,” I answered, “but we’d better keep our eyes open for him.

Amazonas. The word translates in varying ways. Some of them are not very flattering.

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