Sometimes, it's quite the challenge to get a hearty laugh out of the locals here in Cuenca. It isn't that they aren't friendly; I just don't think laughing out loud in public places is a cultural concept here, which is simply mind-boggling to this giddy gringa. Therefore, instead of feeling frustrated by the lackluster, I am determined to infuse, enrich, and instill this population with a bit more joy, a bit more laughter, a bit more love of life.
Most of the time my cheesy jokes don't quite achieve the full-on laughter I seek -- you know those deep belly laughs that make you laugh in return. For this precise reason, I have had to resort to more extreme measures lately. Today was a great example of such.
*At the open-air market 10 de agosoto*
We were looking for some beautiful, plump oranges today, and by golly, after walking up and down a few aisles we spotted the perfect ones. More importantly, this particular lady selling the oranges obviously had some impeccable taste in music, as her Salsa music animated my feet into motion. I looked at my dear three American friends who I was with, and I said to them, "Okay, I think I have a great idea to get a laugh out of this vendor." So, I went right up to her and said, "Good afternoon! How much are your beautiful oranges?" She replied, "They are three for a dollar." I said, "Uff. That's a little much. Couldn't it be four oranges for a dollar?" At this point in our interaction, I poked her side gently a few times with my elbow as I stated, "Listen, if you give me the four oranges for a dollar, I promise to give you the best Salsa dance right here at your stand." There was that hearty laugh! There it came! But no, it doesn't stop there. I convinced my girl friends to dance Salsa with me right there in the market. And so we did. We even did side-to-side, front-to-back, and some lovely turns just to add to the zest of our show. My friends rock the world.
As she handed us our four oranges, she said, "You ladies dance so wonderfully." We smiled and said, "Have a great day," with the last phrase coming from my goofy mouth: "Stay tuned for our next show. Coming soon." Yet another dynamic laugh resounded! :)
So in the wise words of Donald O'Connor from "Singin' in the Rain"....
MAKE 'EM LAUGH. Enjoy life a little more.