BELIZE – BELIZE

Recni spust-Cave River rafting

Recni spust-Cave River rafting

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker

Pogled sa vrha piramide Maja-A view from the top of the Mayan Pyramid

Pogled sa vrha piramide Maja-A view from the top of the Mayan Pyramid

Atmosfera u glavnom gradu-Ambiance in the capital

Atmosfera u glavnom gradu-Ambiance in the capital

Piramida Maja u Belizeu-A Mayan Pyramid in Belize

Piramida Maja u Belizeu-A Mayan Pyramid in Belize

Ki Koker-Caye Caulker

Ki Koker-Caye Caulker

Hotel Tropski raj-Tropical Paradise Hotel

Hotel Tropski raj-Tropical Paradise Hotel

Igra s razom-Playing with manta ray

Igra s razom-Playing with manta ray

Ulica na ostrvu-A street in Caye Caulker

Ulica na ostrvu-A street in Caye Caulker

Bio je to Britanski Honduras, do sticanja nezavisnosti, a samim tim i jedina
zemlja Centralne Amerike u kojoj se govori engleski. Najveći deo
stanovništva čine potomci nekadašnjih afričkih robova, koje su Englezi ovde
naselili, kao i na Jamajci, pod čijim je pokroviteljstvom bila ova zemlja za
vreme vladavine britanske krune. Sličnog su i mentaliteta: arogantni,
svadljivi, često i agresivni, tako da smo nehotice upali u tuču u centru
najvećeg grada, koji se zove Belize City, ako se to uopšte može nazvati
gradom. To je splet kanala prljave vode u kojoj se brčkaju deca ućebane
kose, kao i prašnjavih uličica kojima lutaju grupice ljutitih mladih crnaca
u potrazi za kavgom. Ovde, svakako, niko ne ostaje, već se, što je najbrže
mogućno, ukrcava u neki od malih motornih brodova koji prevoze putnike na
jedno od 450 tropskih ostrvaca i atola, koji se nazivaju Cayes, i pripadaju
najvećem koralnom grebenu na zapadnoj hemisferi.
Ki Koker (Caye Caulker), na kome smo boravili, i mnoga druga ostrva u nizu,
izgledaju drugačije u odnosu na glavni grad. To su bela peščana ostrvca,
koja su izronila iz mora, i na kojima se jedino nalaze sojenice i raznobojne
drvene kućice – pansioni, radnjice i restorani, a između njih se lenjo
protežu iguane i psi. U jednom od njih dobio sam jedinstveni specijalitet,
koji nikada kasnije nisam probao, lobster burger. Ove tople vode toliko su
bogate jastozima da ih, eto, pripremaju i na ovaj način.
Ipak, nervozni i svadljivi mentalitet ovog naroda morao je da se ispolji i
na ovom lepom mestu. Sasvim slučajno (možda, ipak, s predumišljajem), moja
je kamera okrznula ekscentričnog rastafarijanca duge upletene i ućebane kose
sa perlicama. Odmah je usledio agresivni verbalni napad zato što ga slikam,
kao da je u pitanju lokalno božanstvo. Svestan je da svojim izgledom
privlači pažnju i verovatno je to jedino što ima da ponudi. S druge strane,
trebalo bi to na neki način i da se unovči, jer za druge poslove sigurno
nema interesovanja, pa mu je, verovatno, najlakše da se s nekim posvađa i
tako pokuša da izvuče neki dolar. Pretvorilo se to, posle izvesnog vremena,
u poluprijateljski razgovor, jer se, ipak, zna čija je teritorija na kojoj
se samo sluša rege, puši marihuana i pokušava da se nešto izvuče od turista.
Lepota ambijenta, toplo i tirkizno more, poneka iguana koja vas, iz nekog
rastinja ili sa krova kućice, pozdravlja klimanjem glave, čine da se
zanemari nedostatak ljubaznosti lokalnih sledbenika Boba Marlija. Uživanje u
prirodi i priprema za naporniji nastavak puta kroz Centralnu Ameriku mnogo
su važniji od rasprave sa njima. Možda se oni, ipak, smatraju nekim
božanstvima ili posebnom rasom, koja traži svoje mesto i priznanje.
Bob Marley je bar bio kreativan i postao legenda.

Februar 1992.
____________________________________________________________

Until it won its independence, Belize used to be called British Honduras and
has therefore been the only country in Central America where English is the
official language. The majority of its inhabitants descended from the
African slaves brought over by the British to this island, as well as to
Jamaica, to whom Belize was subordinate at the time of being a British Crown
Colony. Belizeans and Jamaicans share the same mentality – arrogant,
cantankerous and often aggressive, so we were unwillingly drawn into a brawl
in the centre of the largest city – Belize City – if you could call it a
city at all. It is really a network of canals with dirty water, where
children with matted hair splash about, and a network of dusty alleyways
where gangs of young, angry black people walk about looking for trouble. No
one stays here too long, but rather boards, as soon as possible, one of the
small motor boats that take passengers to 450 tropical islets and atolls,
called Cayes that belong to the largest coral reef in the Western
hemisphere.
Caye Caulker, where we stayed, as well as many other islands in the area,
look entirely different from the capital city. They are white sandy islands
just emerging from the sea, boasting only stilt houses and colourful wooden
huts – pensions, shops and restaurants, with iguanas and dogs stretching
lazily between them. In one of the restaurants I ordered a unique delicacy,
I have never had before or after – the lobster burger. The warm tropical
waters surrounding these islands are so rich in lobster that people can
afford to make them into burgers.
However, a jumpy and quarrelsome disposition of this people had to find its
way onto this pretty island as well. Incidentally (but then maybe
semi-intentionally) my camera caught an eccentric Rastafarian with
dreadlocks. An aggressive verbal assault followed, as though I had
photographed an untouchable local deity. Conscious that his looks attracted
attention, he may have been aware that his looks were the only thing he
could offer. On the other hand, they could be profitable, because probably
he had no interest in any other business and arguing with someone could
bring him a dollar or two. However, after a while, this turned into a sort
of friendly conversation, because I knew who ruled this place where you only
listened to reggae, smoked dope and fished for tourist money.
The beautiful landscape, warm turquoise sea and an occasional iguana nodding
its head from behind some vegetation or from a rooftop, made me forget the
abruptness of the locals – all Bob Marley fans. Enjoying the nature and
preparing for a more demanding journey into Central America prevailed over
any arguments with the locals. After all, they may really consider
themselves some sort of deities or unique species, seeking some accolades
and recognition.
At least, Bob Marley was a creative type and he became a legend.

February 1992

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