Es­pan­tan­do a los pte­ro­dác­ti­los / Swat­ting off the pte­ro­dactyls

Nan Magazine - - SAZÓN ÑAN / ÑAN YUM -

To­dos los días en Pe­li­can Bay se ofre­ce lo que po­dría des­cri­bir­se co­mo un tea­tro su­rrea­lis­ta al me­jor es­ti­lo de Luis Bu­ñuel.

Es­te lu­gar de­be­ría en­ca­be­zar la lis­ta de pescaderías más es­pe­cia­les del mun­do. No por su ta­ma­ño (por­que tam­bién es pro­ba­ble­men­te uno de los mer­ca­dos pes­que­ros más pe­que­ños que se ha­ya vis­to), sino por­que al­re­de­dor, de­ba­jo y en­ci­ma de la me­sa de ce­men­to de 2-por-4 don­de ven­de­do­res fi­le­tean la fae­na fres­ca de los pes­ca­do­res lo­ca­les, lo­bos ma­ri­nos y sus ca­cho­rros, así co­mo una do­ce­na o más de mons­truo­sos pe­lí­ca­nos (siem­pre me re­cuer­dan a gi­gan­tes­cos pte­ro­dác­ti­los), al igual que la ga­vio­ta más ra­ra del mun­do, la Ga­vio­ta de La­va de Ga­lá­pa­gos, pro­cu­ran ro­bar­se un bo­ca­do.

Los ven­de­do­res de­ben es­pan­tar a los ani­ma­les cons­tan­te­men­te (lo ha­cen con ma­ta­mos­cas, que se su­ma a lo ab­sur­do de la es­ce­na), pe­ro és­tos vuel­ven, y ca­da cier­to tiem­po, lo­gran pes­car un ca­mo­ti­llo en­te­ro. La ma­yo­ría, por su­pues­to, so­lo re­ci­be res­tos de hue­sos y es­pi­nas. Las pie­zas no co­mes­ti­bles son cor­ta­das y en­via­das al mar, don­de aguar­dan ti­bu­ro­nes de arre­ci­fe, a ve­ces cau­san­do al­bo­ro­to en el agua. Si­tua­do jus­to fren­te a los res­tau­ran­tes y ga­le­rías de la Ave­ni­da Char­les Dar­win, la vi­sión co­bra ma­yor ra­re­za cuan­do un pe­lí­cano tam­ba­lea ha­cia el pue­blo. Es­tar tan cer­ca de es­tos ani­ma­les y ser tes­ti­go de su coha­bi­ta­ción con los lu­ga­re­ños es una vi­sión di­fí­cil de ol­vi­dar. Por la no­che (to­dos los días ex­cep­to los do­min­gos), el mercado mon­ta me­sas y sir­ve un festín del pes­ca­do fres­co. Tam­bién se or­ga­ni­zan es­pec­tácu­los de dan­za fol­cló­ri­ca ca­lle­je­ra los sá­ba­dos de no­che.

Bu­ñuel would ha­ve whip­ped his ca­me­ra out to start fil­ming in no time at all, had he ever wit­nes­sed the spec­ta­cle that ta­kes pla­ce at Pe­li­can Bay: it’s su­rrea­lism co­me to li­fe.

The spot should top an­yo­ne’s list of the World’s Fun­kiest Fish Mar­kets. Not for si­ze (for it’s al­so pro­bably one of the world’s sma­llest fish mar­kets), but be­cau­se around, under and on top of the 2-by-4 me­ter ce­ment struc­tu­re, sea lions and their pups, well over a do­zen pe­li­cans (per­haps be­cau­se one’s in Ga­lá­pa­gos, or per­haps be­cau­se one gets so clo­se to them, they al­ways end up re­min­ding me of a gi­gan­tic, ‘de-evolved’ bird), and the ra­rest gull in the world, the Ga­la­pa­gos La­va Gull, hang about trying to nab a free mor­sel as the mar­ket sa­les­men fi­llet fresh sea­food caught by lo­cal fis­her­men. The men ha­ve to cons­tantly swat the ani­mals out of the way -- which they ac­tually do with flys­wat­ters, which adds to the ab­sur­dity of the sce­ne. But the ani­mal me­na­ge­rie keeps on co­ming back for anot­her try. Every so of­ten, one of the pi­ra­tes will get away with stea­ling an en­ti­re fish. Most, of cour­se, only get the bony rem­nants. The inedi­ble pie­ces are cut away and sent fl­ying in­to the sea be­low, whe­re reef sharks al­so await, so­me­ti­mes cau­sing a tu­mult in the wa­ter. Lo­ca­ted just across the street from the res­tau­rants and ga­lle­ries of Ave­ni­da Char­les Dar­win, the sight trans­cends rea­lism as a pe­li­can wadd­les off in­to town only to be dis­sua­ded back by a pas­sing cy­clist. Stan­ding at arm’s length from the­se ani­mals and ob­ser­ving their unin­hi­bi­ted re­la­tions­hip with the lo­cals is a sight dif­fi­cult to for­get. In the eve­ning (every day ex­cept Sun­day), the mar­ket sets up ta­bles and ser­ves a feast from the un­sold fresh fish. The Mu­ni­ci­pa­lity al­so or­ga­ni­zes street folk dan­ce and mu­sic per­for­man­ces on Sa­tur­day eve­nings.

Los pes­ca­do­res fae­nan la pes­ca en pe­li­kan bay en­tre pe­lí­ca­nos, lo­bos ma­ri­nos y tu­ris­tas. / Fis­her­men pre­pa­re their fish at Pe­li­can Bay amongst pe­li­cans, sea lions and tou­rists.

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