Orange Fanta in Uyuni

Shaking his fist, the backpacker, remonstrated perhaps a little more impetuously than he should have. He was genuinely angry.

On the other side of the window, three or four Aymara children jumped puck-like with glee kicking up dust as they continued their jig at the backpacker’s expense.

Orange Fanta in Uyuni

Orange Fanta in Uyuni

“Fanta, Fanta, Faaaaaaaaantaaaaaa!”

Their round faces, each one with dried snot gummed to their upper lips and burnt cheeks from the Altiplano sun, were tearful from their hysterics. Their taunting of the English backpacker couldn’t have gone better.

Now picking out cheap ceiling plaster from his scrambled eggs, the backpacker leaned over to catch the owner’s attention.

“Can I have some more eggs please?”

“That will cost you,” replied the restaurant’s owner, a gruff and solid-looking local.

“But, plaster fell from the ceiling into my breakfast,” retorted the backpacker dusting off his shoulders, hair and jumper.

Indignant and incredulous he looked around for support from the other travellers around him. He got none.

Only days previously this guy, if I remember rightly, who hailed from Plymouth had vomited into my Peruvian chullo. Somehow the ceiling had missed me and my food, but had dropped squarely onto him.

There was no love lost between us.

The Bolivian lady spoke no more. Her piece had been said. It had nothing to do with her that ceiling plaster in her restaurant might have fallen onto this unsuspecting backpacker’s head and into his breakfast at the very moment when he was being cuckolded by local children for being a red-head unlike anything they had ever seen before here in Uyuni.

When you don’t have an expansive vocabulary and your frame of reference is confined to a poor selection of school materials and the ubiquitous invasion of popular culture and big soda even to this isolated desert town at 3700m above sea level, then what is the most appropriate description of a colour so vivid of that of an extreme redhead?

Orange Fanta of course.

Did enjoy this short travel anecdote? Perhaps you might enjoy this tale from Panama or this one from Ecuador

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