Archive for the Stories and Tales Category

Clowns & Protests

Posted in Basque, Stories and Tales on 2017-03-05 by candycactus

When you watch a TV series and miss several parts of it, you feel kind of lost – what happened in between? This is how I felt trying to catch up with what is going on here.

“Are you coming to the demonstration?”, Jaione asked. I was reluctant.

“All clowns are taking part in it, it is organised by Porrotx.”

My jaws dropped. What is happening here now? Porrotx was on the list of people I wanted to make interviews with. The MAIN BASQUE CLOWN.

The story goes like this.

There would be demonstrations demanding bringing back the prisoners at least a little bit closer to the homes of their relatives, as the international law for prisoners requires. Now they are being held as far as possible. The Spanish government seems to be taking pleasure in a revenge of some sort, even if the object of hate has already vanished, which was ETA. But things are not as they seem to be, Spanish government seems to need ETA and seems to desperately need any excuses to demonise Basque society. So even if the arms are down, Spanish government is still fighting in its dark ways and methods by not complying to international law of prisoners and still applying draconic Aznar era laws which means that for burning a trash container you might get 12 years of prison.

I got already used to these demonstrations, seemed like business as usual – thousands of people marching, no reporting in the news and no reaction from the government. Almost all the walls bear a sign here – EUSKAL PRESOAK ETXERA (Basque prisoners – back home). But this demonstration was a certain surprise. First of all the cause of it and then – the method.

There is a prisoner Sara Majarenas who was condemned as being part of ETA for 13 years. She already accomplished 3/4 of her time in prison. Usually prisoners get the chance to move from the first grade prison (which is the most restricted one) to the third grade, which presents a lighter form of conditional imprisonment. In this case the usual practice was not applied to Sara, since she was connected to ETA and the revenge of Spanish government is great.

However, Sara happens to have a child of 3 years. After 3 years children have to be released from the prison. At the same time they are separated from their mothers, which is painful for both. Now, in this case the story does not stop here. The daughter was brought to her grandparents. But somehow her father has gotten hands on her and tried to kill her as a matter of revenge for her mother.

Questions marks and exclamation marks appeared wildly mixed in my mind.

So, the Basque society got alarmed. The child was in danger, mother was in prison. What to do?

Then the main clown of the country, Porrotx, a figure known to every child in Basque country and Catalonia has come to idea to make a different type of demonstration. He called thus for a party. So today, samba drumming, clowns, children with star shaped balloons (the name of the small girl was Izar, which means “a star”), and thousands of parents, pregnant women, youngsters and elder ones came to a huge event requesting the authorities to allow mother to be with her daughter.

Porrotx flying his flag with wild coloured stripes, singing children songs that everybody small and big knew, marching though the streets of Donosti on the first warm spring evening, the skies in beautiful dark blue, the yellow lanterns of Donosti.

When everybody gathered at the stage, the good news was proclaimed – today the decision has been changed and mother can be united with her daughter.


Never underestimate the power of clowns. Porrotx is the real political player here you will not read in any newspaper abroad.

You would say – this is a total manipulation of children. That was also my first thought. But the second thought – all education is manipulation. If the other side – Spanish government was alright, then desperate Basque leftists would not have to bring their children to celebrate that kind of sad occasions. I imagine some children’s animation movies where Native Americans teach their children to resist the white colonialists and am sure it would squeeze a tear out of anybody. (Just watch Spirit: The Stallion of Cimarron to get the idea).

It was a very peaceful and even funny protest. I guess Basque society should be given credit for resisting with just balloons.

Here is an article in Spanish on the matter, ignoring the balloons and the clowns:


A Story About Ice Surface and What Frozen Chicken Has To Do With It

Posted in English, Stories and Tales with tags on 2014-02-09 by candycactus

Muziejaus street means the street of a museum. After the war it was called that way, because a museum was built there. Before it was called German street “Vokieciu”. And Germans were long gone. I did not know any of that when I was a child. I did not even know that it was built in a place what used to be the heart of the Jewish Wilna ghetto. And the big fire, that I used to see while day dreaming was actually exactly in the place where the great synagogue of the Jerusalem of the East used to stand.

However, when I did not see the fire or other things I imagined, it would be a big yard of a Soviet style urban settlement. In the middle there was some sort of square used for various purposes. In summer stranger boys swearing in Russian would play there football. In winter it would be filled with water that would turn into ice for all kinds of winter games.

Concerning winter games – I never really got into that business. In the collection of bizzare things I got as a present in my childhood were skis. The thing is, I could not figure out how they were supposed to work. No wonder, much later I realized they did not have any metal parts on it, they were basically just planks of wood. Thus, on this ice surface I would go with no particular equipment, purpose or expectation. It was fun.

Well, there is a story to this ice surface and how a frozen chicken was involved in it.

I wished to have a pet. Once a kitten had to be transported for us from Belorussia by some mothers friends. Eventually she (the kitten) got lost in the woods. The friends that transported the kitten apparently got out for a smoke or a pee and the kitten gone lost without that they noticed it. Then the idea was that we should get a dog. My mother was a special lady with special taste. She decided that we should have a basset-hound. There were no basset-hounds in Vilnius at that time, not even one. We had to wait until the puppy came all the way from Riga, which is a capital of Latvia. It came with a Latvian name “Burve”, which means “witch” in Latvian and it almost meant a potato in Lithuanian (which would be “Bulve”). I was very happy.

The puppy grew up eventually. I am not sure what happened with puppies education. What was certain is that I did not have much to do with it. So, Burve was a particular dog with her particular will which happened to be imposed on all of us.

One day, as usually, I went to walk Burve and met a friend. We engaged in conversation. I did not notice some crucial factors I would learn after in my life to be aware of – 1. there were horny stray dogs around 2. I was on ice. The result of this combination was that Burve eventually walked around me several times wrapping me gently in the thing you keep your dog tied to. At a certain point she must have jumped towards the dog fellows pulling me in a way that I changed my position from vertical to horizontal instantly, my head being a point that landed first on ice followed by the rest of my body.

I did not understand much at the moment, but the fact that I could see faces almost in every window must have meant that I cried in a persuading way. My mother rushed out. She brought a frozen chicken. It was apparently the only thing that would be suitable to put on the head to sooth the pains of the bruise on the head.

So, this is how I remember myself on this ice surface – with a frozen chicken on my head waiting for the ambulance. The ambulance came. They told me to stand up, straighten my arms to the sides, close my eyes and try to hit my nose with the finger. I hit something else. Thus I was diagnosed with brain injury and brought to a hospital.

If a person is somewhat strange, Lithuanians say “trenktas”, which means one certain aspect of being “hit”. I can see why, I suppose. Most of my friends at least stepped on a rake at some point in their lives. 


Muziejaus 11-13. Things of No Importance

Posted in English, Photo, Stories and Tales with tags on 2014-02-08 by candycactus

This is probably the introduction to the book Muziejaus 11-13, which is an address of the place where I grew up.


I had a slight notion, that the place where I lived was special. But when it really entered my mind was when I was 13. I lived alone my myself and I will explain to you at some point later why. However, I was listening to Pink Floyd “The Dark Side of the Moon” on an old soviet vinyl player while writing my diary, as all at a sudden a flushing water sound entered my ears. It perfectly fitted to the music played, but it was the sound of real water really flushing into the apartment. The door bell started ringing without interruption. I made my way to the door to get help from neighbors and wondered what all this strange tingling in my body was about (it was electricity flushing down from the doorbell). Neighbors managed to get the water turned off. The rest I had to do myself. So, I went to a soviet neighborhood management office and asked for plumbers to fix the pipe. Wait, they told me.

After two weeks two remarkable guys appeared. One was very tall and thin, the other one was short and round. Both were in their years and drunk. They would have fitted into the comic to deliver the message that the job has no chance to be completed. But things took an unexpected turn. Petia, do you remember us being drunk in that corner once? Yeahh, I guess so, it has been a while, ugh?

It turned out that once they were guests of my grandfather, great poet and notorious drunkard. All nation must have passed by here once. I missed that era completely, since my grandfather died when I was just 4. But the same place happened to be a nod of trajectories crossing of many more people to come later.

A great percentage of my childhood time was dedicated to cook coffee for the guests. I had no idea who they were and I had not much idea about coffee since I did not drink any myself – I was a very young child –  but I must have been really good at it. Coffee Turkish way. Very low flame. Plenty of fresh grounded coffee, three times letting the foam come up. My mother would have been a good trainer and will breaker in any detention camp. However, after resisting to learn to deal with the fire, I gave in and was trained to cook probably the best coffee in town. At least this was what the guests would say, and note that these people were not particularly generous with compliments or any kind of superficial remarks as usual in some other parts of the world. At some point I didn’t mind this job. When people ask me when I started meditating I realize that it must have been around that time. Watching coffee cook very slowly.

Thus I witnessed the guests of Muziejaus 11-13 coming and going. Things of no importance. It just turns out that in a small country things of no importance make history.


This is me and my grandfather in Muziejaus 11-13. This and most of other photographs to be posted about Muziejaus 11-13 were take by my mother, a great photographer Dange Sirvyte


A Story About How Everybody Disappeared

Posted in English, Stories and Tales on 2014-02-08 by candycactus

su puku zydu gatvej

So, I am a settled person for now. Got a home and a job and spend considerable amount of my lifetime in subway. My mind escapes from here and now quiet regularly. To various points. Starting to pin down these points.

This story is from a yet not existing book called Muziejaus 11-13. It is an address in Vilnius where I grew up. And many other things happened.

my kindergarden was not very far from home. you walk walk walk and then walk a bit more and then you are there. so, i used to go there by myself. it was winter. i got up. it was still dark, as always. i got ready to go to the kindergarden. put on a fur coat, struggled for a while with the upper button. it was hardly possible to move arms in this coat, so putting on mittens was also an act requiring some patience.

i set off. checked the places where one can slide on ice on the street. watched for a moment the twinkling of snow bellow the street lantern. then walked a bit more.

the door was locked. i looked around and could not see anybody. strange. what happened? maybe i should just wait. sat down on the stairs covered with snow. there was nobody there. nothing. what happened to everybody? is this some sort of game where they are all here but i just cannot see them? it did not make any sense. i waited more.

first it just felt cold in the feet. then the cold was inside of my fur coat. it was all over the place. i felt heavy and nothing mattered anymore.

what are you doing here? i heard the voice. it was nurse maryte. what are you doing at such an early hour?

at that time i did not read clocks yet.


Shaman Rites

Posted in English, Stories and Tales with tags , , , , on 2013-09-13 by candycactus

As I am trying to get used to a settled life in a settled continent such as Europe after many years of nomadic wandering, I travel now mentally, reading books about amazing things. Reading this book is really like a surreal trip – you get to think of and imagine things that usually would not enter your mind. It is liberating somehow to read such strange things. 

Julian Baldick: Animal and Shaman. Ancient Religions of Central Asia. New York University Press. 2000.  

Here is a selection of interesting things: 


Strangling the king 

 A bizzare ritual performed by Khazars at the assession of the new king. “He is strangled, almost to death (so that he loses consciousness), and the words which he utters during this are interpreted to predict the length of his reign. At the end of this period he is put to death.” (p. 29) 


Oak trees 

“In addition they sacrificed horses to a specially dedicated oak trees, pouring the blood over them and throwing the heads and skins over the branches.” (p. 29) 


Dirty for respect  

The Huns, also like medieval Turks and Mongols, used not to wash themselves (and smell accordingly) in order not insult the deities of the rivers. The main Gods for Mongols were these of the River and of the Mountain. 



“The Huns practiced divination by examining the bones of livestock: this is an ancient Inner Eurasian practice, in which, as a rule, the shoulder blades of sheep are exposed to fire and the resulting scorch marks are interpreted. 

When the Huns’s great king Attila died they cut off part of their hair and made deep cuts in their faces, as was their normal custom while mourning.” (p. 27)


Death for death  

“It is also recorded that the Bulghars of the Danube, when burying an important man, would burn some people and send others (his wives and servants) into the tomb to die of hunger.” (p. 31)


Skulls as cups 

“According to a Khitan legend there had once been a chief in the form of a skull, who lived in a tent and occasionally donned human form to come out and see the double sacrifice”. (for example a white sheep for the Heaven and a black one for the Earth). (p. 32)


Burning food for death 

“Sacrifices were also made after the death of a Khitan nobleman: food would be burnt at the new and the full moon. The body itslef was exposed on a tree in the mountains. After the three years the bones were gathered and cremated.” (p. 33)


Human sacrifice 

“Human sacrifices were made at the funerals of emperors early on in Khitan rule over China. The emperor himself, at his investiture ceremony, had to go through a ritual which seems to correspond to the simulated human sacrifice of the Khazar ruler: he was obliged to gallop off, fall from his horse and be covered with a felt rug. He also had to lean against a black bearskin, which hid some children: this apparently reflects the ancient T’o-pa investiture ritual in which the ruler stood on a black felt blanket covering seven men. The investiture itself was preceded by the ‘rebirth’ ceremony, performed by the emperor in a specially erected building outside which there stood an old man carrying a quiver and arrows. After the emperor had passed under three timbers in the form of an inverted “V”, the old man hit the quiver and called out “A boy is born!” At this point the emperor’s head was covered by the chief shaman.” (p 34)



“Scalping is typically Altaic and so is the custom of turning the skull of a defeated leader into a cup and using it for ritual purposes.” (p. 36)



“What is most striking, howeverm is the logic of transformations between humans and animals, AMong the Hsiung-nu a huge fish with two horns turns into a man, and wolves through intercourse with humans, produce more of the latter. The Huns are guided by a doe or cow, and the T’o-pa by a supernatural animal which looks like a horse but sounds like a bull. Among the Khitans men become “deer-men” or “boar-men”, imitating animals’ cries and donning their skins and heads, while animals and humans also turn into each other through mutual consumption. This motif of “becoming-animal” involves anomalous animals like the horned fish or bovine horse which we have hust encountered, and which we have to distinguish themselves from ordinary animals in order to lead humans into new adventures. They also point out that ‘becoming-animal’ is necessary not only for hunting, but also for warfare: warriors turn into animals on battlefields, owing to the demand for speed and fury.” (p. 37)  



“Along with Tengri [deity, god], the Türk inscriptions also mention a benevolent goddess called Umay, who seems to have been borrowed from the Mongols, as imai is the usual Mongol term for ‘placenta’ or ‘womb’. Umay is still venerated among some Turkic peoples in the Altai region, and by the Tunguz: she is seen as protecting the souls of unborn and small children.” (p. 40) 



“The Oghuz never wash, and always wear the same clothes until they disintegrate.” (p. 46)


Tree parents – Uighur myth

“In this myth we are told that at the junction of two rivers there were two trees. A great mound arose between these trees,, and a light shone down on it from the sky. The Uighurs heard a sound like singing comoing from the mound. Eventually a door opened in the mound and revealed five tent-like cells, each of which contained a baby boy. In front of each boy there hung a tube, which provided him with milk. When the wind blew the boys gathered strength and came out. After they had grown up they were told by the Uighurs that their parents were the two trees. The boys paid due respect to the trees and the ground in which the latter grew, and the trees broke into speech to acknowledge this respect. Then the youngest of the boys, Buqu, was chosen by the Uighurs to be their king.” (p. 54) 


Call to move 

Buqu eventually became a powerful ruler, confronted his shamans with Buddhist monks and a result Uyghurs converted to Buddhism. “Buqu lived happily until his death, after which he was succeeded by on of his sons. Subsequently the Uighurs heard, in the sounds made by animals, birds and children, the cry ‘Köch, köch’! (Move, move!) and migrated to East Turkestan, where the cry stopped.” (p. 55)


Baraq Baba 

Muslim historians describe a Turkic Muslim mystic who dressed like a shaman, Baraq Baba (‘Father Shaggy Dog’). “We are told that Baraq Baba and his followers were beardless, but with long moustaches, and wore felt hats with two horns. Around their necks hung cows’ knuckle bones painted with henna, crooked sticks and little bells. They would beat drums and play other instruments as they moved along, thereby producing, with the sound of their ornaments a horrible and terrifying cacophony.” (p. 56) 


Things like that.  






3 istorijos iš Atakamos dykumos: DYKUMOS GROŽIS

Posted in Lietuviškai, Stories and Tales with tags , , , , on 2013-07-02 by candycactus

Kiekvieną sykį, kai sėdžiu sunkvežimyje jaučiuosi lyg liuksusiniame kino teatre su didžiuliu ekranu, ir su užuojauta akimis palydžiu turistus, vežamus bandomis džipais, kurie per kuprines gali matyti tik šiek tiek daugiau nei savo kelius. 

Panašu, kad Pietų Amerikoje suveikė hedonizmo saugiklis ir išmainiau aistrą keliauti dviračiu į tranzavimą sunkvežimiais. Iš reikšmingos sunkvežimio aukštumos pravažiuodama tūlą dviratininką, minantį per, tarkim, Čilės naujai tiesiamą tūkstantmylę dulkėtą magistralę, lyg pamiršus savo bilenkiek numintų tūkstančių kilometrų, su minkštu gailesčiu palydėdavau pastangas kovoti su modernybės pasiekimais – tiesiamu asfaltu ir begales mašinų. Ne, Pietų Amerikoje man nepatiktų minti dviračio. 


Su vienais važiuoji kelias valandas, su kitais – dienas. Kelias dienas ir kelis tūkstančius kilometrų važiavome su Pablo. “I can’t get no satisfaction” dainuojam besiridenančių akmenų hitą ir staiga užtinkame, kad vidury atšiauriausios pasaulyje Atakamos dykumos, kur sunkvežimininkai žūna užliūliuoti mirtinos monotonijos, aptinkame vidury kelio bulvių. Pablo trenkia ant stabdžių ir niūniuodami susirenkame solidų maišą gėrio. PaveikslėlisSunkvežimininkams Čilėje moka nedaug. Belieka surasti kokių pagalių lauželiui. Bet viskas dykumoj ne taip paprasta. Pakelėse aibė kryželių žuvusiems, bet net ir mes su visu kriminaliniu potencialu jų juk nedegintume.

Pagaliau randame krūvelę šiukšlių – padanga, kažkokia kėdė. Puiki virtuvė. Šiek tiek dūmyja lakas ir guma. Bet ką čia, tokia dozė kancerogeninių medžiagų lyginant su Atakamos kasyklininkų sukvėpuotomis dulkėmis. Jei ne kas antras, tai kas pirmas gavo vėžį, tik niekas apie tai garsiai nekalba, o kosulys toli nesigirdi. 

Keistai atrodo ugnis dykumoje vidury dienos ir vidury padangos. Keistai karščio bangose atrodo mano bendražygė Liviana, iškeliavus ieškoti kur nusilengvinti. Toli nuėjo labai. Dykumos grožis maždaug toks kaip ir mirties. 





Sustoja lengvoji mašina. Aplinkui nieko nėra, mūsų lauželis kepinančiame dykumos karštyje ir dykuma. Daugiau mašinų irgi nėra. Išlipa vyresnio amžiaus pora, nesisveikina, bet nusifotografuoja. “Seka, ką darom”. Transporto kompanija seka sunkvežimių vairuotojus ne tik iš satelitų, kurie sunčia į monitorius kiekvieną sustojimą nusilengvinti, bet ir tokiu būdu.

Pablo sau leidžia pasidaryti sportą iš profesijos. Tarkim, važiuoti galima tik tam tikru greičiu, kas Pablo reiškia, kad kelionė bereikalingai išsitempia. Pajungia dalykus ir laidukus taip, kad kelionės greičio įrašo diskas įsirašinėja nustatytu leidžiamu greičiu, o jis važiuoja greičiau. Paklaida matosi tik monitoriuose, kad jis zvimbia greičiau nei užprogramuota linija. Kartais tai turi pasėkmių, kartais ne, čia jau rusiška ruletė. Taip Pablo bent jau neužminga už vairo.   

Temsta. Liviana miega ant vairuotojo gulto. Mane ima siaubingas snaudulys, bet jaučiu pareigą šnekučiuotis su Pablo, kuris vienas iš tų, kur jau nebeturi ką prarasti. Važiuoti tokius atstumus Atakamos dykumoj reikia turėti šiek tiek savižudžio pašaukimo. O jis jo turi. Gyventi normalų gyvenimą, turėti vaikų, žmoną, meilužę, yra faktiškai neįmanoma. Jis turėjo visas tris, bet dėl šito darbo prarado. 

“Ar tave kada buvo apiplėšę?”, klausiu. 

“Ne, tik sielą bandė.” 

Atakamos dykuma – atšiauriausia pasaulyje, niekas čia negyvena, tik dvasios tų, kur žuvo per Ramiojo Vandenyno karą. O joms čia tikrai ne lengviau, nei gyviesiems. Kartais miegi, sako, ir pabundi, nes kraujuota ranka daužo į langą. Kraujas jiems bėga ir iš burnos, sudžiūvusios rankos prašo, kad pavežtum. 

Sunkvežimių vairuotojai Atakamos dykumoj susirenka nakvoti kartu ir eina miegoti paaukoję ar bent jau kažką pamurmėję mirusių dvasiom. 

Sustojam. Per veidrodėlį matau, kaip Pablo nueina nusilengvint ant užpakalinio rato. Ant akmens baltai parašyta Cristo Salva (Kristus gelbėja). Šalia trūnyja numuštas šuo.


Privažiuojame prie vandenyno. “Štai čia anksčiau būdavo banginių mėsos fabrikas”, pravažiuojam vaiduoklių gyvenvietę. “Neliko banginių, neliko fabriko – viskas paprasta”. 

“Čia buvo kasyklos miestas. Viską iškasė ir pasibaigė. Smėlis keliauja, jau beveik nesimato namų stogų.” 

Pavieniai mažulyčiai kryželiai pakelėse ir didžiuliai elektros stulpai tęsiasi valandomis. Po penktos pradeda keistis atspalvis – nuo peršviesto bespalvio į rausvai gelsvą.   




3 istorijos iš Atakamos dykumos: BOLIVIETIŠKA ŽIEMA

Posted in Lietuviškai, Stories and Tales with tags , , , , , , on 2013-06-28 by candycactus

“Ar moki virti?”
“Nu, moku, gal tik su mėsa nelabai žinau ką daryti.”
“Tai pabandyk gal, va čia dėžėse visko yra”.
Beveik archeologinio pasenimo autobuso griaučiai meta mintį, kad ko gero įstrigau čia reikšmingam laiko tarpui.
“Jei ką, galėsi čia pernakvoti,” man šaukia nueidamas pasienietis, lyg skaitydamas mintis.
Bolivijos pavadinimą pirmą sykį gyvenime perskaičiau vaikystėj kažkokioj knygoj iš anų laikų serijos “Drąsiųjų keliai”. Pamenu ne kažką, lyg impresionistiniam paveiksle kokius tai potėpius su džiunglėmis, indėnais, nežinia-kas-bus-toliau ir gal-bus-blogai.
Džiunglių čia nėra, bet užtai “nežinia-kas-bus-toliau” ir “gal-bus-blogai”. Rausvai pilkas plikų kalnų krastovaizdis, plokštuma.
Bandymo tranzuoti iš Čilės į Boliviją per Uyuni pasienio postą dar nepaskelbiau nepavykusiu, bet faktas, kad jau spėjau išvirti pasieniečiams pietus, jie murmėdami, kad vistik man išėjo nevisai, kaip pas juos namuose, juos sušlamštė, o per tą laiką nepravažiavo nė viena mašina, man teisėtai leido sunerimti.

autobuso griauciai
Jie čia atvyksta dviem savaitėm. Toli nuo savo motinų, ir žmonų, ir jų verdamų dieviškų sriubų, net atspariesiems boliviečiams šitas pasienio postas yra gerokai atgrasus. Bet kas, kas galėtų įnešti įvairovės į šitą siaubingą nuobodybę yra vertybė ir verta pastangų.
“Ko nerimsti, sakau gi, mano draugas tikrai arba šiandien arba rytoj čia važiuos, galės tave pavežti, čia gali pernakvoti, mums išvirsi valgyti”.
Skamba viskas kaip iš pasakos su nykštukais, ar meškom.
“O galima tam draugui paskambinti ir tiksliai sužinoti?” – nepasiduodu.
“Čia ryšio tai nėra, bet TEN galima pabandyti. Ten kur sniegas maždaug, ten yra ryšys. Keturiasdešimt minučių pirmyn ir keturesdešimt atgal. Tik neišvažiuok, ar prižadi?” Vėl viskas skamba kai iš pasakos. Ir apvalusis iš dviejų pasieniečių užsimuturiavo kepurę, kapišoną ir iškeliavo į pakalnę.
Likome dviese su viršesniu pasieniečiu. Pradėjo sniguriuoti. Šaltis pradėjo smelktis į kaulus. Laikas – ilgėti.
Atrodo keista galvoti apie sienas, kai viskas aplink tik kalnų plynė, autobuso griaučiai ir nedidukas pasieniečių pastatėlis. Artimiausia gyvenamoji apylinkė Bolivijoje – šimtus kilometrų nuo čia. Nėra ko stebėtis, kad niekas nevažiuoja.
Tikėjausi džipų, kurie veža turistus. Bet jie susimokę, net jei turi vietos, pakeleivių tokių kaip aš neima, kad verslas nežlugtų. Ir taip Uyuni yra prienamas tik tų, kurie su pinigais ir ne be jų. Į Čilės pusę kartas nuo karto pervažiuoja sunkvežimiai su raudonais grėsmingais užrašais ir kaukolių paveikslėliais, suprask sprogstama ir visaip kitaip gyvybei nenaudinga. Veža iškasenas iš gretimų kasyklų.
Pabudau rytę prie San Pedro de Atacama, dykumoj su karščiu kaip ir priklauso Atakamos dykumai Čilės pusėje. Atvykau per valandėlę iki Bolivijos sienos ir visiško lietuviško lapkričio. Apsirengiau visais savo turimais rūbais ir nenusifotografavau, nenorėdama daryti gėdos saviems palikuoniams.
“Teks nakvoti su mumis!”, šaukia tolumoje už kelių valandų iš taško atvirtęs į apvalųjį pasienietį apvalus pasienietis. Kūnas pastebimai išskyrė dozę adrenalino, lyg patvirtindamas racionalią mintį “nu jau ne”. Su pasieniečiais gal dar ir susitvarkyčiau, bet šito šalčio kvadratu naktį niekaip neištversiu.
“Jis atvažiuos rytoj iš ryto!”
“Rytoj iš ryto” Pietų Amerikoje gali reikšti bet kokį neapibrėžtą laiko tarpsnį besitęsiantį nuo keleto dienų iki amžinybės.
Keturios po pietų. Už valandos ims temti. Kasykloje baigiasi darbas, paskutinių sunkvežimių prošvaistė atgalios į Čilę ir dykumą, arba nakvoti su pasieniečiais vidury niekur kalnuose.
“Nu, čia nelegalu, vairuotojai negali imti pakeleivių, nes veža sprogstamas medžiagas, bet galim pabandyti.” Draugu tapęs apvalusis pasienietis sušneka su sunkvežimio vairuotoju ir sutariam, kad mane paleis gerokai prieš Čilės postą, kad bėdų nebūtų su Čilės pareigūnais. Sutariam ir jau leidžiamės apipaišytu kaukolėmis sunkvežimiu vingiuotu keliuku žemyn į dykumą, kurioje šiandien pirmą sykį palijo ir oras kvepia smėliu. Atakamos dykumoje prasidėjo bolivietiška žiema.