Landmark in Santa Cruz, Bolivia
This church of unusual hue was a landmark in our neighborhood when we lived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (1980-1982). In my mind's eye, it is a brighter pink than this image shows it.
We lived seven or eight blocks from this intersection, and directions to our house began with, "Go to the pink church and ..." I hope the building is still there because I remember it affectionately as a distinctive and useful landmark. And I hope it is still a church, as well.
We taught at an English-speaking school in Santa Cruz. When school was dismissed in the afternoon, we often rode a micro (red-and-white bus in the photo) to this corner and walked the rest of the way home.
An Indian lady with big skirts and a little bowler hat always had her pushcart on this corner, near where I stood to take this photo. Vendor pushcarts like hers were miniature convenience stores where passersby could get an aspirin, a handkerchief, a comb, a piece of candy or gum, a rubber band, a T-shirt, or whatever.
I smoked in those days, and one day, I stopped at the cart and asked for a pack of cigarettes. I didn't look carefully at the cigarette box before paying, and when I got down the street, I found that she had opened it and replaced all the cigarettes with rolled up pieces of paper.
A little note inside the box said (in Spanish), "Ha ha, stupid gringo." She knew that only gringos would buy a whole pack of cigarettes from a market cart. Any Bolivians who were shopping at a market cart would buy one cigarette at a time.
If I had taken it back to her, she'd have professed innocence or pretended not to understand my Spanish, so I accepted that I'd been taught a lesson. I never bought anything from her again, so in the long run, she was the loser. Or maybe she won, because I still remember the incident to this day.