Tag Archive: camera

In Dire Need of Therapy

Mondays are always the same. Yesterday was no different. I didn’t post, except on Bullshit Corner, and that was a good one.

Between waiting for my daughter at the bus station for more than an hour so I could take her to the dentist to have a tooth restored, only to find out that she had an exam at school and couldn’t come, and internet interruptions of service, and a change of my daily routine; it was a normal screwed up Monday.

So, after finding out that my daughter wouldn’t arrive, I decided that I needed therapy. The best therapy in the world is shopping! Every woman knows this. I went and brought a new pair of shorts, which I badly needed. On the way to get the Kombi home, I passed an electrical store. Better check that out. You see I have promised myself a new camera. I had seen one advertised for R$299 with internal rechargeable battery. This store had nothing under R$399, which was more than my ceiling price,

My little ‘puppy’

As I walked out the door into Passeio Mall, I saw a small photographic place across the way. I was drawn as though by a magnet to their modest display of  digital cameras… and there was my dream. A little Vivitar, just begging like an eager  little puppy pawing at the window in a pet shop to be taken home; and the price… R$199. Ten minutes later I was walking home with my little ‘puppy’ feeling quite happy with myself, that I had saved R$100 on the one I was thinking about. Forgotten was the morose feelings of not seeing my daughter and my annoyance at having gotten up early for naught.

Therapy is a wonderful thing.

Here is my first photo, a long awaited update of my Lixo…

Wot iz dat fing?


Update… reminder, must set the date/time correctly

Sunday Travel Tales

Getting back into the swing of things. This is the first Sunday Travel Tales for a month, sorry about the absence, but as the say “… makes the heart grow fonder.”

This week we’re back in Cusco. Having lived in Cusco for many months three times, I have a lot of stories from there.

A photo, not just any photo, this is a photo that tourists can’t take.

The alter of the St Francis Cathedral

When tourists enter the church they have to surrender their cameras, as all photography in the church is banned, whether that has anything to do with the fact that they sell plenty of postcards or not, I have no idea; I suspect so.

Hernan Hilario, 10

In an earlier post I told you how I met my guide to visit The Sexy Woman; well, this is a story of  another of the rascals that I knew in Cusco, Hernan Hilario.

Hernan was part of a group of rascals that preyed on tourists, begging, selling postcards, shining shoes, guiding, offering advice and generally learning about the outside world while they did so.

They were an unkempt lot, a fact that often belied their intentions; for they would no more have robbed a tourist than flown to the moon.

Some weeks afterward I was taken aback when Hernan suggested he could get a photo of the inside of the Cathedral of San Francisco; all I had to do was loan him my camera for maybe fifteen minutes. Now we are talking here about my old Nikon. It was old, it was battered, but it took shit hot photos when it could be coerced to do so. It wasn’t the most modern model, it was an FM, the last of the Nikons that you could operate without a battery, which I preferred. I much preferred ‘fly-by-wire’ photography as that was how I learned as a youngster with my first camera an Olympus PenS. Never the less, the camera and 80-200 Zoom lens was valued at around $500 and here was this street urchin suggesting I loan it to him. Can you just imagine the myriad of thoughts that were racing about my mind?

It took me about 10 seconds to think about it and a quick outline of the plan to return the camera to me. What Hernan suggested meant that where I waited for him I could observe the only entrance into and out of the cathedral, I figured that if that was the case and the plan was that my camera was to be ‘disappeared’ I would see him leaving the church.

I handed my camera over. I showed him roughly how to take a photo. We crossed the plaza together, my camera hidden in its supermarket bag swinging freely from Hernan’s grip. I always carried my camera in a supermarket bag, a black one inside the marked one, it was my security measure. Thieves steal a camera bag, they don’t steal a supermarket bag.

The tourists were lined up for the doors to open at 10am. Hernan just wandered to the front and entered as is the right of Peruvians, he didn’t need to get his Cusco Passport stamped or surrender his camera, because he was a street urchin and didn’t have one.

I took up my position under the veranda of Paddy Flaherty’s Irish Pub, which I later managed, but that is another story, and waited.

It wasn’t long, about ten minutes when all hell broke loose. I could hear the shouting and noise emanating from the cathedral, then running out of the door like the devil himself was chasing him burst a fleet footed Hernan, dodging and weaving among the tourists being chased by a less than fleet footed group of men. Hernan flew down the steps, tossed my plastic bag at me as he ran past and kept running without saying a word.

I tucked the bag under my arm nonchalantly watching him beat a retreat and disappearing into Calle Loretto. The men chasing him had been impeded by the tourists and lost track of him, they hadn’t seen him toss the bag to me. I leaned against the stone pillar as they shrugged their shoulders and stamped back up the cathedral steps in frustration.

I had my camera back, hopefully, I had a photo.

Later that afternoon, a smiling Hernan found me in the plaza. We laughed, and he told me how scared he was. We had dinner together that evening in the same chicken restaurant as I had been with William and Idália.

Life is an adventure, some times you have to take risks, sometimes you have to trust even the most unlikely, the result can be priceless.

Back again next week.




Lixo P. Cat

Rubbish… I mean Lixo.

I have finally managed to get a photo of Lixo.

It’s not a very good photo.

The camera is having an identity crisis, it doesn’t really want to be a camera anymore. But I can with some pressure and wriggling of buttons get it to perform its original function.

Anyway, there he sits in all his magnificence, guarding his realm and ready to trip me up at any given moment.

Now don’t ask me why the caption Lixo P. Cat is crossed out. I have just noticed it. I tried to correct it and it managed to displace the caption. Something I haven’t managed to figure out why with WordPress yet. So I did a crtl+z and it stays. LOL, in the final post, the strike through disappeared.

I have just a few moments to post, I have the last lesson of the week in about an hour, and I need half that time to get there. I still have to shower and get desmellified before I go.

This week, as I have explained elsewhere, has been terrible, lessons, split days, lessons cancelled, etc. As my mother would have said, “I don’t know whether I am Arthur or Martha.” Actually, after sixty years, I have that pretty much sorted, but it semed appropirate to describe the week.

I am panicking to get this done, because it has been a few days since my last post.

I was in town yesterday. I am so frail, I weakened. I saw the sign Brazeiro, my favourite restaurant and I could resist a small detour for a leisurely BBQ lunch. I was alarmed to discover that they have raised the price of beer. It used to be R$6.50 for a 450ml tankard, now it is R$6.90. They sneak these changes in from time to time to catch the unwary. So, instead of my usual 3 tankards, I only had 2. I used to have 5 or 6, but as they have increased the price, I have gradually reduced my consumption, they lose. The same beer at the botequim is R$3.70 for a 600ml bottle, so I drink less with my meal and have more when I get home at a more reasonable price.

That’s it, got to go.


Not Much Today

Meatballs: Not the movie!

Subject today: Meatballs

Yes, I am going to a party. I got informed this morning I need to take a plate; so I am taking two. One of them is Minted Meatballs, the other Stuffed Eggs. Both are quick and easy to make, slap on a plate type stuff.

The party is a gathering of the teachers from the course that I work for. Languages, English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and probably Dutch, so it should be interesting; I can speak three of them at a conversational level.

So I am busy in the kitchen and hoping my best jeans will be dry by the time I am ready to leave.

I have discovered that my camera wants to be a camera again. I bought some Duracell batteries yesterday and it works fine. Therefore the problem was the new battery charger and batteries; that’s the third dud set in a row that I have bought. As Queen Elizabeth II would say “We are not amused.”

Back to the kitchen…

Later, if you’re lucky. Who knows?

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