Saturday, July 25, 2009

Advising on the Andes and alpaca

Francisco advises Tbn Tbn on what to take up the Andes.


Francisco: You wish to base yourself at Cusco.

Tbn Tbn: For a week.

Francisco: A week is good. You will have soroche, altitude sickness, when you arrive. But not for a week.

Tbn Tbn: It is cold?

Francisco: Señor, this is winter. Cusco is 3400 meters in the Andes. Could I suggest an alpaca?

Tbn Tbn: I have very little. I can carry my own bag.

Francisco: Señor, I suggest alpaca WOOL. A sweater, a scarf perhaps? And layers. You do not go to the Andes with little undies. You can get them in the market. Now, when you arrive, you will go light in the head. Your heart will beat the faster. You will breathe sometimes with difficulty. Take it easy and you will not suffer so much. Drink the coca tea there, it will help.

Tbn Tbn: I’ll rest the first day.

Francisco: What wisdom in one so young!

Tbn Tbn: I’m older than I look.

Francisco: No, Señor. You are not old. You will learn a lot from meeting the Uros on their totora floating islands on Titicaca. You will enjoy the hike to Machu Piccu. Trust me, you will.


“You will…” functions as part imperative, part prediction and part suggestion marker. It is a blended functional marker. Perhaps a portmanteau expression?

And the exchange on age follows a long tradition. One person admits to being old, it is polite for the listener to vigorously deny it…

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