We Will Fight (Continued)


The Tinku I am told by an Aussie tourist (wearing a T shirt saying: Smile and the world stands with you, Fart and you stand alone) is the most dangerous festival in the world, he saw that on a TV show back in Australia and has come with his girlfriend to see it, both like extreme emotions. The group of researchers from the Museef (The Museum for Ethnography and Folklore in La Paz) and from the Bolivian ministry for Culture I was supposed to travel with have suddenly cancelled their plans for the Tinku in the town of Macha north of Postosi department. Some became ill others couldnt find the necessary funds and the cameraman refused to travel for lack of security guarantees. The only person left to undertake the journey is Tito Burgoa a native of Macha; a pensioned mining engineer turned hobby historian with the mission of convincing UNESCO that the Tinku should be part of the human cultural patrimony and deserves to be protected and preserved. I am leaving with Tito very early morning the bus from La Paz climbs to the sprawling city of El Alto headed for Oruro a straight journey. With Tito fallen asleep I use my time to stare trough my sunglasses at the seemingly endless clear view of the high plateau interrupted by the occasional snow peaked mountain that pops up from the barren landscape like a freshly baked panettone with powder sugar on top. It is the end of the potato harvest; the farmers are finishing the job with their families, filling bags and piling them near the road. The contemplation of the human condition between a rock and a hard place is abruptly interrupted. A tall figure in a shiny new leather jacket and more gold on him then you would find on an Indian bride on her wedding day is loudly selling South Korean Gin Seng. First he enumerates countless diseases from cancer to kidney failure to bad smelling vaginal juices and then he bombards the bus passengers with the curative prosperities of his magic product. FEAR is the biggest possible of sales arguments it can sell all sorts of things from War to South Korean Gin Seng.

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