email: volunteer@otracosa.org

Blog

26
May

How did the girl cross the road?

The other day i was quietly sat eating my standard pre surf avocado snack with a couple of fellow volunteers, when i suddenly said out loud ‘oh shit’. As most people would, my friends asked me what’s up. It then dawned on me that i had to either think quickly, or sound ridiculous. I answered with the truth – i had planned to surf throughout the inevitable bright pink and orange sunset, whilst also having arranged a rooftop yoga session. Shit. Okay, so it’s not that bad. I got over, it, i chose surfing, it was beautiful.

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But something that is actually difficult here is crossing roads. Let me explain. Take, for example, a road. It has no markings on it. I live in London, there, it would be maybe a comfortable one lane of traffic. Here in Hunachaco however, it fits what ever it is required to fit. So on a typical Saturday it would have a bus, a couple of taxis, 4 people with surfboards, a mototaxi and a dog. It’s not that busy though, traffic comes in waves, i guess that fits the theme of Huanchaco. So when i see a road that is clear, i think great – i can cross. Right? Wrong. There will be one taxi coming, so i think, okay, i’ll wait for him to go and i’ll cross after that. So as i am sensibly stood on the side of the road, watching the taxi passing, the taxi driver, lets call him Carlos, can only assume i’m waiting for a taxi, so Carlos beeps at me an unnecessary amount of times so that he’s really certain i’ve noticed him. I am not however waiting for a taxi, so i signal ‘no’ to Carlos, who can’t believe it, so to clarify he slows down, and beeps double the amount of unnecessary times as previously. But by this time, a bus has come up behind him, who thinks, oh she doesn’t want a taxi, she wants a bus, so the bus helper shouts at me, like I’m in an East End flower market, names of all the places they could take me, like it’s an offer i can’t refuse, so that my concentration on the taxi is shifted to the bus, but again I signal no. The story goes on, more taxis and more busses come, i don’t manage to cross the road, and i give up and stay in the bakery, eating yet another gloriously chocolatey truffle for the equivalent of 30p. God forbid even the concept of introducing traffic lights, zebra crossings, or even a bus stop displaying timetables or route maps. I think i’m going to print a map of the London underground and see what they make of our system. Nevertheless, by following this basic rulebook, you can definitely still go wrong: Do ensure all cars are well out of sight, but even if you think there aren’t any, there are. They will appear, and they will try and kill you. Don’t ever look a taxi driver in the eye, if you do there is no way they will ever believe that you want anything other than to get into his car, you’ll never manage to cross the road. Ever. If a bus is coming don’t be fooled into thinking that they’re shouting an offer that you can’t refuse. If you’re strong you can refuse it. Dogs can work in your favour if you’re tactful. Do show your friendly side and they will guide you. Don’t let the speed bumps lead you into a false sense of security. The moving vehicle is not slowing down to let you cross. Same goes for cars swerving pot holes, or busses letting passengers on/off. They’re all about to speed up and try and kill you. Do really consider how much you need to cross the road. Is it worth risking your life? Are you going to the bakery for a truffle, they’re good and probably worth risking your life for.

Good luck.

Written by Meghan Joyce, Fair Trade Photography Project

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