(Bit late with my C post, I know. I'll catch up, I promise.)
|A choller at sunset.|
What is unique to Curaçao is the verb. Chollering.
I choller, you choller--or, like that famous phrase from You Know You've Lived in Curaçao If:
A choller, because of his/her lifestyle of little (physical) baggage, has few needs. Clothing is worn until it falls apart, shoes are totally optional, haircuts unnecessary. Because of the drugs, even food isn't a must.
But drugs are. And they cost money.
They do odd jobs, if they find them--and if their health allows it; sadly, most have some kind of mental disorder, whether drug-induced or otherwise. Sometimes they beg. But their most reliable source of income is chollering.
At a construction site, a few bricks might go missing. A cellphone left unattended at a sidewalk cafe table might not last long. A pair of shoes left on a beach might not be there when you get back. Clothes set out to dry on a line too close to the street, or in a yard unprotected by dogs, might disappear. (And your favorite t-shirt show up later on the back of your neighborhood choller.)
Stealing, yes. But at a small-scale, opportunistic level. Something like purloin, I suppose. A car doesn't get chollered, nor does a TV or a car stereo. Pick-pocketing wouldn't be chollering, either.
But, as my fantastic friend Yolanda Wiel explained, "say a small business--handmade furniture, for instance--uses "I'm Living It" as a slogan. They've chollered that from McDonald's."
(If I didn't quote Yolanda, I'd be chollering this explanation.)