Monday, January 24, 2011

A photo for comments, an experiment. Downtown Santiago

take your kids to work day

I don't know if I want to tell you what to think about this picture. What you see is probably very different from what I see, and if I tell you what I see, will you still see what you were seeing before? Or will you replace your own vision with mine?

But I can't leave a photo uncommented. So I ask you to think first. Take a minute, look at the image and tell me what your eye tells you. Roam around the four corners, look at what most grabs your attention. Does this image say anything to you? Santiaguinos? Gringos in Chile? People with no connection here?

I will tell you that it was January 21, 2011, about 9:05 AM, and that we are on Calle Nueva York, outside the stock exchange. The rest is up to you. See it bigger on flickr.

And yes, there will be a reveal, where reveal doesn't mean the truth, just what it made me think. I'm not right, I'm just an observer, just like you.

18 comments:

Anil said...

Out of necessity bringing the kids to work?

I'd say my eyes first noticed the baby, then the lady (mom perhaps), then the oranges.

Anonymous said...

even stock traders need their orange juice in the morning...

Rob W said...

A mother with her child in the street (which are often used to create compassion) making money.

And at least she is not just using the child as leverage begging for money (which really f's me off). She seems to be making fresh orange juice or something, earning her money through work.

This is the first time I have see a full cot/crib in the street.

However, someone could still come in from the other side and whip the child away. You'd think would have the child and cart on the same side with the kid constantly in view.

Abby said...

This would make for a much harder getaway should the cops show up and she didn't (prob doesn't) have a permit. I always think that the people selling orange juice are Peruvian, but I don't know why, maybe someone one time told me that or maybe I just made it up in my head.

So basically what I saw was, Peruvian mommy sets up camp to sell orange juice and hopes the cops don't come.

Deborah said...

So I see a woman (at first I thought a Nana because of the apron and then I changed that when I realize she's making juice, so I think it's to keep her clean). I see a woman selling fresh orange juice to the people going about their morning lives and she has brought her child w/ her. The playpen is to keep her child "safe" while she works. I think she probably had the playpen in her cart while going over there and her child in the stroller. The sad irony of what I see isn't lost on me.

Ely's Mom said...

Hardworking mom, most likely peruvian, based on her job and the fact that she has her kid w her i.e. Little to no support system to count on for childcare. I do wonder why the kid is on the other side of the sign... Shade?

The sweat suit seems a bit much for the kid, but that's no surprise. I also wonder if there's another babe in the stroller. Seems too small for the kid in the PnP and the shade is pulled on it.

Richard said...

I first saw the baby in the cot. Then saw it reaching into the pram. So wondered who left a baby in a cot in the street.

Then I saw the lady selling oranges, so reasoned that the baby in the cot was hers. After which I wondered who left something in a pram for the baby in the cot to reach at.

Then I decided it was all too confusing, and I would rather ponder oranges instead. And now I find myself hungry for having done so.

hal said...

Looks like the toddler is done reading the paper and wants to get back in the stroller.

Isabel said...

I wonder why she set up next to the lamp post and put her kid on the other side. Also, I've never seen a pack n play (is that what that is) but I have seen plenty of kids at work with their moms who sell items on the street

Heather said...

yes, I also wonder why the kid in on the opposite side???I still get nervous and have that mindset that if you look away from your kid for a second he/she could disappear!

Chica Mandita said...

Hardworking lady with responsibilities in need of free childcare
OR
Hardworking lady offering childcare

phishlady said...

Funny, I saw enterprising mom who's selling oranges to make money for the family... since I work away from my kids all day and would love to have the kind of job where I could work and have them with me all the time, I envied her! Of course, this comes with my own (middle-class?) assumptions that she has a place to stay, food to eat, and selling the oranges is a nice extra income (maybe her husband makes a good wage, or maybe she also runs a farm co-op or sells fresh-baked bread every other day at a local market, or maybe she just has a major excess of oranges from her land and wants to sell them off this week before they're too ripe...). Which, from everyone else's comments, sounds very unlikely.

Thinking about it more, I guess what it reminded me of is the family groups I often see here, outside of baseball games or outdoor concerts or other events, selling lemonade or bottles of water, etc. In my own experience talking with the groups, they often are middle-class families that like to make a bit of extra money and think it's a fun activity... (if they were poor, they wouldn't be able to buy the water/juice/cups/ice/etc. in the first place)

Pam said...

Truth is, I'm not sure where to begin. It took me a while to figure out that she was running a business, and she's bothered to wear an apron and has a bag for the waste, but my eye keeps getting stuck on the newspaper because everything else seems to have an exact order about it.

Heather Carreiro said...

Really interesting photo Eileen. So glad you took the time (and the courage) to take it. I have to admit when I look at it, my mind immediately starts trying to fill in the gaps of explanation. For example, how much money does the woman make selling oranges in order to be able to afford expensive items like a playpen and a heavy duty stroller? I'm of course already assuming it's her daughter and her stuff.

Sarsparilla said...

I've never seen such expensive childcare gear in such a low status job as selling oranges, which I presume she's doing. So I would give a point to the person who said childcare, also.

Can I just say that the one thing that has always prevented me from reading very many chilean blogs is the constant racism against peruvians, and the assumption that peruvian equals poor? Those who are blithely trotting that out in these comments without challenge should be ashamed of it, in my opinion. I presume that it may be acceptable to speak that way in Chile, but the internet is international, not chilean.

abuelita_gringa said...

A picture with a story - so many possibilities. Since my familiarity with the local culture is limited to annual visits, I had to filter my interpretation through my life lens and suppositions. The apron did confuse me, but I overlooked it to see ingenuity and a mother's effort to do whatever it takes. Please don't tell me she is someone's nana with a sideline!

Abby said...

Sasparilla, I don't want to change the tone of the comments, but when someone calls me racist without knowing who I am, I can't let it slide. I'm sorry that you misinterpreted my comment but I meant it as a simple observation, without judgment.

Anonymous said...

call me an asshole.. but
my first thought was:
peruvian selling juice, i'm glad she bough a "corral" for her daughter/son cuz I still think carrying the kids in an indigenous made bandana its not as good...
Peruvians are enteprenaurs! or however u spell that! its friday and im too tired to look for this kind of things xD
orange juice didnt exist in chile before the peruvians took it over! so i like them!
they try to get along
and create new jobs along the way
i like that
wouldnt mind a peruvian millionaire going orange4oranges!
theyre here, they wont go away.. most likely theyll keep coming in. so hopefully theyll make the culture grow