Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta tourists. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta tourists. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 11 de junio de 2016


   As the weather report had indicated, there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky that day. There was just an infinite blue space, with birds and planes crossing it every so often. The beaches were packed. There wasn’t even a small place by the showers they could use. Maybe everyone had thought of the same plan once they had seen the weather report or maybe it was tradition to escape to the beach every Sunday. After all, the city was partially dead on those days.

 The couple walked along the first beach, the one closest to the metro station. It was obviously the most agitated one. There weren’t only a lot of people but there were also a lot of vendors and bars and women offering massages and even DJ’s blasting music that cut off every single conversation anyone wanted to have in the area. Besides, you had to really watch were you walked, unless you wanted to step on somebodies hand and never hear the end of it.

 It was a bit frustrating not to fin a single space there. They didn’t really want to keep walking but there was no choice. One of them said that, at least, there were more options. If it had been only that beach, they wouldn’t have been able to stay at all. A walk could be a good thing if, after all, they could find what they had come to find. So they kept on walking, to an area covered with palm trees were people also occupied every single centimeter there. They used some stairs behind the palms and returned to the ocean walkway.

 There were many people skating and riding bikes too. One of them thought it should be illegal to ride bikes so close to may people lying on the ground. He thought it was the most stupid idea there was but he couldn’t blame the city’s institutions for having to put bicycle tracks all over the place. There was really a lot of cycling going on, so they walked a little bit faster, through a flea market and then by a large marina, filled with very luxurious yachts.

 Both could see themselves riding one of those someday, even without any knowledge of sailing. It seemed like something that was incredibly exclusive and an indicator of wealth and power. Somehow, and they agreed on this two, to watch someone on a yacht was very sexy, even if being in a boat for more than one night was not the most enticing concept ever.

 They stood there like lamps, watching men with white shorts and sunglasses bard their yachts. They would all dress exactly the same. They both wondered if there was like a rulebook that stated how people should dress in a yacht. Everyone was wearing white: socks, skirts, pants, shorts, shirts, shoes,… It was very repetitive.

 They moved on to the next beach, just on the other side of the marina. This one was much larger than the one that was packed a few blocks back. Besides, this one wasn’t as filled with tourists, which was a good thing. They were tourists too but they hated to go on those groups, doing lines with those stupid hats and the leader of the tour with a flag as if they were all dogs following their owner. A normal tourist always wore the same thing, would always go to the same places and behave in exactly the same way.

 They were two young people and didn’t want to have anything to do with that. So they dressed a little bit more casually and had decided to walk around a lot, discovering special places of the city by themselves and with the help of the map in their phones. That was much more fun and they could even get lost and discover incredible new places and people, so they really liked their way better.

 Sadly, the second beach was also packed. Not so many tourists but many locals. The first section of the beach was covered by three volleyball field where several groups of people were throwing balls at each other with an incredibly strength. The couple practically ran past they, as they had always been rather unfortunate with any kind of sport that involved a ball. Somehow, if they were nearby, the ball would always land on their heads.

 The next section was, oddly enough, occupied by lots of families with small children. Both of them stepped on, at least, a dozen of little shovels and buckets and rakes. And the kids that ran around trying to catch each other would often use them as shields against other kids. To be honest, it was a very annoying thing specially because they didn’t really like children. They did enjoy them from time to time, but couldn’t stand them for more than a few minutes.

 So they walked a little faster and then arrived to the last section of that beach. They were happy to see a spot: it was closer to the sidewalk than to the ocean, but at least there was a place for them to finally sit down. Their feet hurt as they were not very used to walking on warm sand for such long times. It was like a mirage that, effectively, disappeared almost immediately. Another couple arrived out of nowhere and sat down on the spot fast, as if they had always been there.

 Frustrated, they arrived at a place with no sand but with a concrete surface. There was some kind of gymnasium there, with lots of shirtless men showing off their physical attributes. It was a bit distracting, so they moved on the next beach. On the one side, the beach had the ocean. On the other side, it had a large sand bank, almost a hill, covered with trees.

 The couple wondered what that was about but kept on walking, passing an information sign and walking along the sand bank. This small section by the hill was not as packed as the other beaches. This one had some spots they could use, several to be honest. It took them some time to realize what made the beach so special. They found a spot, a big one, just in front of the ocean. They ran towards it, taking out their towels and putting them fast on the ground in order to claim the space.

 They sat down, a bit tired but also happy they had finally succeeded. Then, a woman passed in front of them, totally naked. It wasn’t uncommon to see one going topless. It was actually very common for that to happen. But full naked? Not so much. They didn’t think much of it as they checked their bags for food and sunblock. As one of them put some of it all over arms and face, another naked person passed in front of them. And then another one.

 So they both stood up and took a hard look at their surroundings. Most people, all adults, men and women, were naked. Totally naked, without a single piece of clothing on their bodes. Some were sitting on their towels, reading. Others were trying to tan their bodies with the potent sunlight of the day. And some walked along the beach, even jumping into the water as they were.

 The couple looked at each other as they sat down. They didn’t really stop putting on the sunblock or having a bite of some bread they had brought with them. They just did it more slowly, thinking about the fact that they were in a nudist beach or at least the nudist section of the beach. Then, it became obvious that, if they hadn’t found that area, they wouldn’t have been able to found a spot in which to sit down and enjoyed their day at the beach.

 The two of them had been together for about two years. They had been intimate several times and had shared their views on practically every subject they could think about. It wasn’t their first trip together either, they had done it before at least two other times. They knew each other well and respected each other in every single aspect. There was nothing they wouldn’t say or discuss or go into. They were young and open to the world that they travelled.

 So, of course, both of them removed their shirts and then their pants and then their underwear. They were naked as they applied sunblock all over their bodies. They helped each other with the back and shared a big bag of chips they had bought, chili flavored. They decided to tan for a while first. Later, they hopped into the water. Eventually, they would remember that day as their favorite of that trip, pictures included.

domingo, 27 de marzo de 2016


   As Michael arrives, he asks the waiter where he could find the person he’s looking for. Apparently he is on the second floor, in the terrace area. Michael is escorted there by a staff member who points at a man smoking by the railing of the terrace. There are many people around and that is something Michael had not expected but, after all, it is a very popular town amongst tourists and every single day the streets get crowded with them.

 He walks up to the man, who’s younger than he expected and asks: “Is this seat taken?”

 The young man doesn’t turn to him, still taking a look a look at the people on the square below and smoking.

-       Starting with a stupid question doesn’t make much sense.

 Michael sits down. The waiter comes and takes their order: Michael asks for a whisky, straight, and the young man asks for a “screwdriver”. They don’t say a word until the drinks come to the table. In the meantime, they both watch the people and the pigeons come and go into square. The movements are almost hypnotic. When the drinks arrive, the young man throws his cigarette over the railing and takes a sip of his glass.

-       That’s unsafe. – says Michael.
-       I think people have better things to worry about, including you. – answers the young man. - Including whatever it is we are going to talk about now.

 Michael looks straight at him, with disgust.

-       That’s a nice mouthful of crap for a terrorist.

The young man laughs. He also looks at Michael straight in the eye. It’s the look of a mad man.

-       You kill people for sport.
-      Oh, please! You do that too. Besides, it’s not sport. I’m the same as you; I have a salary and everything. The fact that I enjoy it is the only difference.

Michael doesn’t say anything.

-       Oh, so you enjoy it too?
-       What are you talking about?
The young man stops directing his body towards the railing and decides to face directly at Michael and even comes a bit over the table.

-       What do you want?
-       It was you who contacted me.
-       True. But it’s you who wants something. What is it?
-       The truth.

Michael is very serious but the young man slowly pulls back, grinning.

-       There are many truths.
-       You put a bomb on that man’s house. You killed his family.
-       And?

Total silence. Michael’s heartbeat is fast.

-       His children…
-       Yes, they died. And no, I didn’t plan for that to happen, collateral damage.
-       That’s it? - Michael slams the table with his fist. – That’s all who have to say?

 The young man takes his glass and takes a big sip of his drink. He looks around and slowly answers.

-       That’s all I will say, yes. And I bet you don’t have much to say about those drone attacks you commanded while in the army.

Michael’s facial expression changes.

-       What? You didn’t expect me to know that? Please, any decent spy would have dug that out.

Now, it is Michael who pulls back to his seat. He’s reminded of a time he thought everyone had forgotten, that people in his job at the CIA told that was behind him. Apparently a sealed file doesn’t stay sealed forever.

-       Yeah, so that’s done. – says the young man. – So, what are you here, in town? Big party coming?
-       Shut up.
-      Come on, dish. What is it? A cartel, or slaves or what. What is piercing on your brain now?
-       How is it that you are a spy? If you really are, how did you get to be one?

 Again, the young man smiles. He drink some more of the drink and turns his head towards the square.

-       I suspect we have been doing this for the same time, you know. – he smokes as he talks, pausing from time to time. – The thing is you were chosen to be a spy because you were a good soldier. I, obviously, wasn’t that.
-       Obviously.

They both smile.

-       A woman that knew a lot about all of this stuff picked me from an early age. She chose me because, in her words, because “I wasn’t noticeable”. Apparently, I didn’t stand out in a crow.
-       So you stole since you were a boy?
-       Yeah. You didn’t?

 A flock of pigeons passes over them. They both looked at the birds, with so much happening in their minds.

-       So that’s how I started. I have a face that doesn’t stick. I can be in a crowd and you wouldn’t look at me twice.
-       I would.
-       Sweet but I meant normal people. Besides you know who I am now so, it’s pretty obvious you are going to look for me every single day of the rest of your life.
-       You think you’re that important?
-       No, but you do.

 Some children yell and run on the square, scaring more pigeons. People take pictures and talk, a lot.

-       They say you don’t only kill your targets.
-       Who is “they”?
-       You fuck them too.

 The young man laughs so hard that he snorts a bit.

-       Only the men.
-       And the women?
-       I don’t kill women. I thought you would know that.
-       Why?
-       Because.
 He looks at his watch. Michael notices this.

-       Somewhere to be?
-       Nope. I’m just where I need to be. You?
-       Same.
-       Awesome. Why did you become a spy? Childhood dreams?

 Michael moves in his seat. He has never liked to talk about the subject, it makes him uneasy because it is private and he doesn’t handle private very well.

-       Sorry, too personal?
-       No.
-       I don’t care, Mike.
-       Don’t call me Mike.
-       Fuck you Mike.

There’s a silence between them. They drink the last of their drinks and the young man turns his body against towards Michael. He looks at every single feature of his face. He smiles.

-       You’re handsome, beneath that shell.

Michael exhales, annoyed.

-       You are. And I guess there’s a nice little brain inside of there. You knew I was here and no one knew that.
-       No one?
-       Nope. You are the only one that knows and that makes for a nice little relationship, don’t you think?

 He leans over the table and grabs Michael hand. He pulls back but the young man is much stronger than anticipated. The young man caresses his hand and finally says:

-       I came here to do my job, Mike. And that’s what’s I’m doing. No psychological shit today, ok?
-       What?

He leans over even more and says, in a whisper, “enjoy the ride”.

 Then, an explosion occurs in the square below. Every person in the balcony looks below but Michael cannot. The young man grabbed his arm, making him unable to move, and then punched him hard in the stomach. Then threw him on the ground and ran. Michael chases him downstairs, barely breathing. He sees his jeans running down the street and turning left but then, a second explosion happens just a few meters away. Michael is thrown to the floor again and remains there for a while.

 Later, in the hospital, he receives a big bouquet of roses that only have one white card with one symbol on it: the imprint of his lips in blue lipstick.

jueves, 22 de enero de 2015


   The ocean was his thing. When high school drew to a close, his parents had insisted on him finding a proper career to study in a big city, at least ten hours away from their small town. But Ari, our young enthusiast, was fascinated by the treasures of the sea and was eager to follow his grandfather’s footsteps. That man was a living legend as he had broken all records of size and number of fish he had caught. He was just the best at his craft.

 Ari visited Mr. Gons, his grandfather, pretty often. The old man lived in a small shack by the sea, where he would still fish his lunch and ate very little fruits and vegetables, despite his daughter’s insistence. He always told her that he was over eighty years old and, beyond that age, it didn’t really matter what had eaten before in your life. Mister Gons thought the ocean could give anyone a fair life and enough to nourish from.

 So it was from him from whom Ari had learned to appreciate the ocean, which had always been there for him. He loved swimming, of course, and had done a bit of surfing but he wasn’t much into it. He loved diving, though. He had attended a school were he had learned all the basics and now he did it every time he had a moment to do it. He would ask his grandfather fro his boat and dive alone, from the break of dawn to lunchtime.

 To his grandpa’s disappointment, he never brought fish to eat. He only went there to see the ocean creatures live, to the things they did normally, which was fascinating. He loved animals, sometimes bringing his dog Kop with him in the boat. When high school finished, his parents were mad at him for not having put his name down in any of the schools they suggested. They knew he loved the town but they also knew opportunities there were scarce.

 So, because of his decision not to study, he had the chance to do two things he wanted to do instead of studying law or medicine. First of all, he found a job leading tourists to a nearby reef. He would go with small groups and show them the marine life and how they tried to protect it from being destroyed. Besides work, which he always looked forward, he decided to help in the only fishery remaining in town. He started taking the guts out of the fish and putting them on ice but he hoped to get one a boat some day.

 The first months were both easy and hard, all at the same time. Driving the tourists around was incredibly relaxing, as only people who really liked the ocean would go on those kind of tours. The few times there was a nervous person, they would all help to make the experience the best of his or her life. There was definitely nothing like watching life just happen before your eyes and that’s what he loved of it.

The fishery, on the other hand, was hard work. He would do it four days a week an even then it was hell. The people handling the place had been shaped by the sea, just like their product, and they didn’t allow anything to go differently than what they had planned. They yelled a lot, especially when the work place was too filthy or the worker was too slow. Taking the guts out and scaling the fish was not as easy as it looked like and it had to be done properly or the fish would be damaged and selling it would be harder.

 Every time he got back home, after work, he would be exhausted. It didn’t matter from what job he came from, his hands would always be sore as well as his feet. Besides, Ami would gulp down food and a lot of water at diner time, as he didn’t properly eat all day. His parents were not happy for this but they didn’t say anything. He was being responsible and was winning his own money. They hoped that the workload would make him realized that he needed to study to improve himself.

 Then, halfway through the year, something no one had seen coming happened: Mr. Gons had died. It had happened in the night, while he lay on his favorite rocking chair, having fallen asleep with the sound of the waves and the feeling of sand beneath his feat. He was loved by many, especially by those families that had always lived in the town. The turnout at the funeral was outstanding; the family couldn’t have been more proud. Everyone shared stories about him and coincided that he was a one special man.

 Ari then, stopped working for a couple of days. His bosses excused him, just by looking at him: he looked beyond sad. He looked as if it was a defining moment for him so they gave him some time to think but not too much as he was needed in both the reef and the fishery. Indeed, Ari thought of his grandpa, who had thought him everything of the sea, but he also thought what he wanted from life. He knew that things were hard out there but then he realized he had already taken steps to make a live of his own.

 So the day he returned to work, confident that he was doing everything right. He couldn’t push to happen, he couldn’t force anything, but he could improve himself and just be good at what he did. He started reading a lot more about fishes and other sea creatures so that he would be available to give more complete tours on the reef. As for the fishery, he trained himself with a small knife cutting open everything at home. His mom was certainly impressed when she noticed everything in the fridge had already being chopped in various ways.

 On weekends, he would return to his grandpa’s house to drink a beer and watch the ocean. He understood then why the old man loved the place: the peace and quiet was overwhelming but appreciated. Being away from everything but that soothing sound was just perfect. But then, four months before the end of the year, he began going there with a girl he had met in one of the tours. She lived in a town close to his and would visit him when out of work. It was the first time he fell in love for real and knew she was in love with him.

 When working, he noticed he didn’t thought of it as he did it. He would think of her or of his plans, which were slowly forming in his mind. He had realized that, despite everything he thought, his parents were right. He did need to educate himself more to be better, not just to earn more money but to afford to live, as he wanted to do it. He had even thought of living with his girlfriend but that was another project, for the future.

 He told his parents of his realization that learning more was necessary to him, in order to know more about what he loved and to live a good life too. They were happy tear it but not so happy when he told them he had found an aquarium, in a medium size city about two hours away by car. It was not that they wanted him to go but that they wanted the very best for them. He explained the aquarium had a school where he could study marine biology. They actually had at least some ten more careers to choose from, which was very interesting.

 One weekend he was free from work, he took his girlfriend and his parents to the aquarium. The place was beautiful and they were all amazed that they had never really known about the place. The lady that gave them a guided visit, explained that the school had been open only for the past two years but that many students that wanted to study the careers they taught were very happy with their presence. Even the zoo area of the compound was much better than any other he had seen: the pools were very big and the machines were kept away from the animals, so not to disturbing. They didn’t have large mammals, as they believed they were better off in the ocean.

 So when the year drew to a close, Ari told his bosses all about him studying and not being able to work anymore. They were both very happy for him and wished him all the best. He had been an exemplary employee in both places, and people had learned to appreciate his work thoroughly.

 Then came Christmas. They all had a big party in his grandpa’s old house and there was no one sad or thoughtful. Everyone smiled and enjoyed the food, the company and the prospects that the future was putting on the table.