Mar 29, 2008

Escape From the City

Part 4

Just because Trujillo is a smaller city does not mean that it's any different than Lima in the way people drive. In fact, they drive worse. I didn't know it was possible, but it's true. Maybe because there are fewer cars on the street, drivers feel they can take more risks and nothing will happen. I don't know. What I do know is that there is that prevailing attitude of "You've got brakes - use them," meaning that anyone can pull out in front of anyone else at any given time and all will be well. Maybe.

As we drove into Trujillo's downtown area, taxi drivers were passing us with abandon and just a waggle of a finger to let us know that they were going to cut in front of us. If it hadn't been such a relief to had arrived, we would have been cranky. And the atmosphere was almost festive as we made our way to the Pablo Casales Institute of Superior Technology. This is where we stayed. Actually, it is an enormous house with a laboratory downstairs and classrooms upstairs. In all, it is a huge 5-story building. The founder of this institute is Juan Carlos Cansino. O is one of the co-founders. We stayed on the residential floor where Juan and his family live. Celeste had the run of the rest of the place, since classes were not in session till the following week.

The resident dog there at the Institute is Bingo. Bingo is a little white rag mop of a dog, but there is no doubt that he owns the place. He stands guard at the front door during the day and patrols the hallways at night. The rooftop is his watch tower and also serves as the night time potty (this being a concept that Celeste never embraced.) It should be dog heaven. At first, Celeste thought it was, until Bingo wouldn't let her near the door the residence and made it quite clear that he was in no mood for foolishness. Wah! Foolishness is what Celeste is all about!

The first night, Celeste disregarded the idea of going to the rooftop to the potty and instead chose to unload at the foot of the stairs in front of Juan's office. She was shown the error of her ways and banned to the rooftop for an afternoon. After several hours of singing Siberian Husky songs, she was allowed to come down and burst into the residence at the first opportunity. She leapt on the unsuspecting children, expecting to be played with but instead was hauled out the door to spent her time (apparently) climbing 5 flights of stairs over and over. Bingo watched calmly from his spot at the front door.

On the second day, Celeste endeared herself to the children of the house and in doing so, was allowed to come into the house all through the day, but not at night when she seemed to roam through all the classrooms, check the trash cans in every room, potty in a different place every time nature called, and climb the stairs. They enjoyed her and even the maid found time to play and slip Celeste a few crumbs left over from a meal. Ahhh...Celeste Heaven...

Life in Celeste Heaven soon turned to Celeste Hell as her body protested the constant pacing and climbing stairs and being dragged into bedrooms and throughout the house, with children hanging from her neck and tail, hanging across her back, fingers in her ears, in her mouth, and up her nose, patting her head just a little too hard, and dressing her in their own clothing. She tried to escape her tormentors by sliding into our bedroom, but was always discovered, just as she made herself comfortable on the floor. By the end of the second day, young Celeste was walking like an eighty-year-old, body aching and mentally stressed out.

By the third day, she did not stop to check the food bowls; she did not pause at the counter to see what might have been left after lunch; she did not take a turn under the dining room table to check out the crumbs left. To do so would have meant spending the afternoon wrestling and being ridden, lain upon, pulled around by the collar and all those other things that children love to do with dogs. Kids. Not exactly how Celeste had imagined them.

On that third day, Celeste had taken to creeping quietly to our bedroom and hiding under the bed.


Wooly Works said...

Oh dear! I suppose you get what you deserve dear Celeste. Being a pest does tend to do that to people and especially dogs. But, alas, I do feel a bit sorry for her even if she does get what she deserves. I suppose you didn't feel sorry for her at all did you? After all the trouble she caused in the car. Shame shame...

- Bethy

Kathleen said...

Of course we felt sorry for her, but it was kind of funny, because there was Celeste, with her preconceived notions about kids. So odd to think about it like that.

Actually I have to say that I did feel sorry for her until I discovered that she'd pooped in 6 different classrooms and I was the one to clean it all up. I wonder if she felt sorry for me...