Puerto Colombia

Puerto Colombia consists of two mainstreets parallelling a full stretch of maybe one kilometer from the town limit down to the harbor. Posadas and restaurants wall-to-wall, different surfshops selling the exact same type of merchandise, flip-flops and beach-bum wanna-be  funny t-shirts; a rastaman with a giant spliff, a rastaman playing congas, a rastaman just smiling like it´s a couple of seconds after he finished his giant spliff.

The female manequins here are all about tits and ass, every bikini cut a couple of sizez too small; large here is like a little patch barely covering the nipples of those big-cupped styrofoam breasts. They all stiffly swagger MTV-butts from a Snoop Dogg video, pouty and voluptous, a small stringline between the cheeks. The male mannequins are made with a poorly masqueraded content of the western beach-bum; a small, pouty mouth, tiny eyes reflecting a vacuum-brain, the bangs combed over from one side to the other in a big fluffy wave. It´s a caricature of the gringo, reflecting the complex relationship between the townspeople and the tourists. You always get that feeling of intruding in something far more important when you step into one of their shops, they can barely contain a rollling of the eyes if you´re one of those obnoxious enough to want to try something on prior to bying.

The locals carry themselves with a healthy dose of pride, combined with a touch of fuck-you attitude. They´ve got that aura of untouchables, refusing to kneel to the dollar, at least not in the face of its carrier.

They´re keeping their distance, the most obvious display is the clear but invisible demarcation line running two-thirds into the village, dividing even this little pueblo into a tourist part, stretching from the townlimit to a bridge crossing over a river; a bridge you have to make in order of getting to the road leading to the Playa Grande; after the bridge, there´s about two blocks left leading down to the small fishing harbour, which is the locals territory, bursting of life even during the weekdays as our part lays mostly deserted, you can almost hear the eerie whistling from “The good, the bad, and the ugly”, being replaced by the very real noise of salsa-music blaring from loudspeakers stacked-up behind the counter of cornerstores or set in open-cased cartrunks.

After dark there´s busy liquorstores and street-barbecues, down by the harbour the waves crash into the base of a protective wall semi-circling around a stoneplatted pier, spraying up a fine mist of waterresidues, picked up by the breeze and sweeping in over the marketplace. There´s some streetlights hung with a seemingly haphazard rhytm, headlights from cars and motorcycles sweeping by, providing a glimmer of light.

There´s no hostility here. This is the caribbean. It´s all One Love and mañana mañana.

But tomorrow we´re heading back to Caracas.

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