Wednesday, September 19

The Ruins of Sexy Woman

My theory: the only thing keeping the cab drivers and the passengers alive here are the massive dashboard shrines, because it certainly isn´t the nonexistant seatbelts. Every driver (or Chofer) has pictures and charms of Jesus and their favourite saints adorning the cloth and fringe-covered dashboard. This month was the festival of Señor de Huanca so they all have a banner above the windshield (in velvet and gold letters no less) welcoming him or something like that.
As for sight seeing I have to admit to not doing any yet (save for climbing up a ridiculous amount of stairs to a pretty poor area and catching a magnificent view of the whole city). However, this weekend calls for a visit to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman (pronounced similar to 'Sexy Woman' with a spanish accent). Apparently it is a half hour walk uphill from the school...woot.
Let's talk tourism though. It is hard to separate the evils and good of tourism in Cusco. It appears that the most common ways to make money here are: drive a taxi, sell your paintings to tourists or hawk postcards at restaurants (substitute carvings, finger puppets, jewelry, etc. for postcards). These jobs wouldn{t exist without tourists, would they be needed? Likely they would. From the history of Perú it seems that the government got the country into a bit of a financial bind well before tourists overran the place. Would the culture be on sale at every turn? Probably not. It is sad to see women dressed in their traditional clothing and carrying a lamb around to make tips by posing with tourists but one can't really blame them. If you needed money for food and tourists would pay you for something you had, you would sell it...even if it was your image. Oh, and talk about pollution with all of the taxi's- I don't need to take up smoking just a brisk walk to the grocery store.}

1 comment:

Beth said...

i'm really enjoying the travel entries...keep it up.