Pusi is a district and a little city with fields in the Peruvian highlands at 3835 m. of altitude (15 852 ft.) bordering the lake Titicaca. I took a little bus from my city, Juliaca, to Huancané city for a pair of dollars and there I waited an hour to Pusi. My goal was to ask about prices about the marble. In Huancané I saw a delicious red apple (my favorite fruit) and I thought it would do a great contrast against the white marble and besides it could taste yummy, both of them proven true :P
(This visit happened in August of the last year, during our winter before the rains; and yes, I know the name sounds similar to another word in English slang :D)
Walking the town and eating like an Incan gentleman
The little city is quite peaceful, they seem to be always under a blue sky and an intense sun of midday.
The city hall in little towns usually are horrible buildings that doesn’t harmonize with the old places where they are located, even more are cold buildings because they use big crystals without systems of thermic control in places where usually the temperatures are low. Fortunately the Pusi city hall has a modern design but it’s not aggressive to the city, even more the design looks smaller than it really is. What it was closed so I couldn’t get data to where I should go.
It was time to lunch so I went to a little restaurant in the plaza. But it had a characteristic: it’s traditional so not just the food is like thousands of years ago but the way of eat is also like in pre-Hispanic times:
The restaurant is a place of adobe with water in the door to wash your hands. It serves food made with native fishes of the lake, I asked one I love and that we call “ispi” (it tastes similar to fried chicken and it´s pronounced is-p) with yellow potato (what we call “papa” pronounced pah-pah) and chuño (it’s a freeze-dried potato processed to last stored several months or years, it’s pronounced more or less chuh-nyo) The traditional way to eat is with carefully with fingers, then the importance to wash your pawns, I mean your hands XD. The Inca or Emperor and the nobility or powerful had old ladies that give them the food; I remember my grandmother feeding me that way when I was four of five years old. It’s something that has to be doing with delicacy. That’s the reason because there aren’t cutlery.
After that I follow with the soup. The correct way is to grab with clean fingers the base of the dish and rotate it but that’s with a traditional design. In this case with the plastic one I just grabbed it with my fingers and taste it with calm, as in any place you have to care to don’t make sounds but be polite. I didn’t take a photo of the restaurant because some peasants had drop papers to clean their fingers in the floor and, I hope to don’t sound derogatory, but that’s a problem with peasants and cities: they are quite clean in their homes but they don’t understand that the city is like a bigger home of the community so they think in it like a “place outside the home” so they can let garbage there and there. That don’t make me feel angry but a bit sad. Otherwise it was a good time to eat like in old times, these days this way to eat and try is barely reserved to the traditional parties.
Something peculiar is that we eat without see the other people eating, for that reason when I travel to the more westerner cities in the coast I usually don’t accept invitations to lunch because I’m afraid to be seen eating, it’s almost like a taboo, in our parties we are in line with our eyes in the dish.
I was again with energies and happy so I walked a few kilometers towards the quarry.
Walking a landscape of infinites yellows and blues
To the quarry there are two ways, the one used by the cars and the one used by the shepherds. I walked the latter.
The photograph bellow made think in the adobe house I lived when I was a babe. Although we lived in a city the adobe house had those windows and the calamine roof that was so noisy with the hail, in general it wasn’t comfortable, quite dark because the adobe needs another structures to allow bigger windows.
A white castle of a marble quarry
Pusi is home of the marble with highest quality in Peru, it’s exported to countries like USA or Japan. It’s private so I’m posting a few ones. I was to gather information and corresponded the gesture with and equivalent gesture as our old civilization makes from thousand of years ago. If you are interested in it I can give your information.
And that was all. I took another car to Juliaca city and ate that extraordinary apple.