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Tango, the dance of life
Tango at Bar Sur, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Hank

With flaming red lipstick, I feel sexier than ever.

I step into the bar filled with crowds of men in hats and vests with my sparkling heels; I steer away their stares with a luring smile. I toss my hair one last time and catch eyes with a young soul who smiled timidly. I tie it into a bun, as the crowd unease into anticipation of my performance. I let the chinchilla fur coat slide off my bare shoulders, leaving a trace of warmth into the atmosphere; I wink at the bartender, asking for the usual, whiskey with a twist of lemon. I sling it back and wait for my cue.

“Por una cabeza, todas las locuras, su boca que besa, borra la tristeza, calma la amargura...” (Losing by a head, there was all that madness; her mouth that kisses, wipes out the sadness, it soothes the bitterness.) He sings the story of my life.

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Using Cash to buy a Macbook
Kris' credit card could not connet to the credit card center in Chile.
So we withdrew lots of cash to buy the macbook!!

The two weeks in Chile was only tolerable because we had JD and Kate (an American couple that we met on the trip through the Salt Flats in Bolivia, a.k.a. The So-In-Love Married Couple.)

Please don’t get mad at me for writing what you are about to read. This is just my personal opinion and feel free to rebuttal.

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the Trio
(The owner's friends, taken by Kris, at Cafe Dos X 3, Cusco, Peru)

Café Dos X 3 is a tiny little hole in the wall café in the winding streets of Cusco. It had two tables that held two people each and three diner booths surrounded by orange walls. Inside the only display cabinet were three framed caricatures of some old men. Jazz and classical music played at all times. It felt more like a jazz joint than a café. Right behind the cashier machine was a shelf with hundreds of figurines, from Picachu to tiny elephants, you name it.

 

The owner always hung his glasses right on the ridge of his nose. I have never seen him wear anything else but a plaid shirt, a wool vest and Levi’s jeans. He had this Italian mob boss look to him and with his white moustache and hair flowing, I was drawn to him. He had the charm of importance, mystery and melancholy. He was tall and smoked cigarettes as if they were the very fixation that was going sustain his breathing. The solemn look on him told me many stories in my head. He probably is not married and if he was, he does not have a close relationship with his family. He did not feel like a man with children. Maybe he was a mafia boss who ran away from Italy to find peace in Peru. I do not know. I did not speak enough Spanish to even ask him how his day was.

 

For the first few times we were there, the owner did not pay much attention to us until one time; I got my courage together and asked him about a photograph on the wall. He smiled to me for the first time. He then handed us a book on a native photographer from Cusco. (His name was written in a notebook, which is now lost along with some other possessions during a trip in northern Peru.) Hank devoured the book and went from cover to cover at least three times before he was ready to hand it over to me. He was served cappuccino and I, a chocolate caliente. This café had the best hot chocolate ever.

 

Before we left Cusco, we went back to the café to enjoy our last craving for the orange décor and hot chocolate. We told him that we were leaving and then, I saw him smile for the second time; he handed me a figurine of a condor. I pulled my hands out of my gloves to have it placed in my palm. It was a sweet moment, at least I thought so.

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El Tio de La Mina (i think...)

  (Taken by Hank, during la fiesta of Virgen de Guadalupe, Sucre, Bolivia)


I thought that it was just going to be another parade.

 

We stood right outside our hostel which was right on the route of the parade. It wasn't like we had anywhere else to go. Everyone was there and the street corners were blocked off by the police. We were stuck with our front door as our exit.

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IMG_1156

(taken by Kris. in OUR car. hee hee.)

 

Since we started traveling in South America. Needless to say, we have been exposed to a total different kind of culture. The culture shock comes with the consumption of local food along with physical and mental adaptations to the subject.

Hank and I spend 24 hours together. NO EXCEPTIONS! We spend more time together than we would like but this I suppose is good training for the future (that’s what my dad said anyway). I can’t remember when it was when we started to discuss each other’s bowel movements. These discussions occur at random times and even public places. Since no one here understands Chinese, my darling boyfriend has used it to its fullest advantage.

 

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Kris, lost...
圖說:taken by Hank, at Lomas de Arena,Santa Cruz, Bolivia)

I have a dream. Well, actually, I have many dreams. And none of them was/is related to South America. I dreamed about dancing on the street with Mexican mariachi once but that's as close as it gets to where I am now, which is about 9 hours away (don't quote me on this)by plane and 10 million miles from home(needless to say this is an exaggerated estimate).

But here I am, sitting in a coffee shop, two months and some odd days since I left, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, observing and being observed. Asians are rare here. Mostly of them are Japanese backpackers and that's usually where they think that we are from. I'd smile and say, we are from Taiwan. Taiwan es una isla pequena, I'd say. - Taiwan is a small island. They'll nod their heads politely and ask: Korean? That's how much they know about my island.

Never had I said so much about my motherland nor being so proud of it. The pollution that used to bug me is now as minute as a mosquito bite compared to the diesel engine exhausts I had to endure in Peru and here. The crowded streets never bothered me that much since I rarely get out of the house in Taiwan. The traffic that seemed chaotic now seem orderly. I miss roaming the winding streets with my car and feeling free of all burdens once the speedometer points towards the sky.

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Coffee Break

He decided to live his life. I decided to halt my life. He went to Peru and I followed. Whether it was the right thing to do or not, we will never know. The point is, we are here, in South America(at the point of writing, we're located in Santa Cruz, Bolivia), living and halting our lives together.

Our first stop was L.A. I traced his steps from airport to airport, all 5 of them. First, CKS airport, LAX, El Salvador, Lima and then Cusco. It took me(and him on separate occasions) two days to get to where he was and it took him a month to get me to where he was. I suppose this is what relationship is all about. He goes, I follow.

Peru went through my mind and head like a blur. I didn't go to Macchu Picchu by choice. I didn't go on any of the hikes or the treks. I knew that I wouldn't survive very long without showering, well, that's not quite true. I just didn't want to climb up a mountain that has no particular interest to me. Call it how you want, that was my decision.

The only thing that I took with me was my alpaca sweater and scarf. Those will last a life time and as for the indignant payments of tourists and other unpleasant events are being forgotten with every second that passes by.

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