April 23. Lake Titicaca.

The legs are okay again. I can move on today. I want to describe the begging women in the bus station. Her dark skin, how she crouches and moves her hand up and down to indicate what she’s after: a few Bolivianos. The colorfully woven pouch on her back, the noises she makes, her small feet with the dirty sandals, the old hat, the expression on her face. Her whole expression, her entire being is an allegory of need. Say she’s only playing her role as a beggar and skip the only-part.

A few hours later, the bus arrives in the village Copacabana. We have crossed an arm of the Lake Titicaca by boat. The bus was shipped on a different vessel and it was fun to see it moving slowly on the water in the hot afternoon while we had already crossed the water on a smaller motorboat. At the shore of lake Titicaca I had a good lunch of Trucha from the lake and strawberry gelatine, a popular desert in Bolivia. A man came begging and I sent him away with a few coins.
The afternoon program: a boatride to the Isla del Sol. I talk to an older Dutch guy who travels two months every year and “does” Peru and Bolivia this time. I don’t really like the expression. How can you do a country? Like you do a woman? Like you do your job? Never mind, the boat trip was beautiful, and the Isla del Sol is a fine thing too. You can walk up a hill and visit some Inca structures there. I had to go back to Copacabana to take the bus to Puno at the Peruvian side of the lake. In Puno, I missed the famous floating islands, that used to be a retreat for the indigenous while the conquistadores lived the city.

Change the bus in Puno. In the terminal some guys yell “Arequipa Arequipa!” and “Cusco Cusco!” The guy from my bus company had it all organized and provides us with Peruvian tickets. In the bus to Cusco I meet an American guy working on a book with his laptop, which I find interesting. He has a book deal and does some field research. We talk about writing travel blogs or travel literature and he tells me he can’t just write freely what he thinks. I give him the address of mine and hope we exchange ideas some day. He continues writing with the computer on his lap which scares me a little. He writes more pages than I do! But that doesn’t matter, does it? We all do what we do. That goddamn fear of not being recognized is holding up too many fruitful ideas in too many meek minds.

I can’t concentrate on my own work and I can’t sleep either.

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Published by

Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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