Red Light : Green Light

In route to Huanchaco today, myself along with the rest of the people on the Micro bus watched as the most talented street performer I have seen yet swung back and forth on his personalized makeshift bongo board. 

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There is a lot of money to be made passing through cars during the afternoon rush hour. All sorts of vendors take advantage of the few moments that cars are stopped at the red light to sell whatever they have to provide. They slide between taxis with hands full of anything from water and bitesized cane sugar, to cotton candy.  Personally, street performers are the ones that catch the most attention. They dart to the front of where the cars are lined up at the intersection and perform an impressive range of stunts.


Today was special, instead of the usual nineties style beatbox, the juggling balls, or acrobats – this guy had a table, a bongo board, and two hula-hoops. As the cars lined up at his intersection, the stuntman raced to the front of the idled cars. Within but a moment, he had set up the table, and a his bongo board. In one foul swoop he mounted and began his dance.

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As I video taped the street performer, Queen’s ‘I want to Break Free’ came on over the radio. That was just it, I could not have put it better myself. This guy was free. 

There is no class you can take, nor degree you can earn in such a skillful trade.

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This guy has broken free from social norm. He dances, balances, and uses his impressive talent to make a Sol or two before the light turns green.

And as he plays the protagonist in his red light green light game, the automobiles are at bay behind the traffic light. Each taxi, each Micro remain at the mercy of the light. They are stuck waiting on green so that they can continue down the same crowded street. All the while, this guy has mastered the traffic jam. He has in fact made a wage off of those stuck in route to their next destination. Me? I’m headed to the beach. 

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