Some things about Lima
1) There is this street corner where all these guys hang out, holding puppies. It appears to be the nucleus of Lima's black market for puppies. At first we just saw one guy holding a puppy and assumed it was his dog. Then we saw another, and another, and suddenly we realized EVERYONE BESIDES US on this street was holding a freshly birthed dog or two. It was a strange and rather spine-tingling moment.
2) People advertise their street foods by tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping and then tapping some more on their food stalls. There is a lot of loud tapping going on in Lima. A lot of shouting and honking as well.
3) Everybody is astonishingly poor, and (like in India) this impoverishment starts to feel like gravity, or atmospheric pressure-- crushing in from all sides. People run after you in the streets, thrusting products in your face. Little boys try to shine your shoes and will not relent until you hide your shoes under you. Pickpockets abound (I am hugely paranoid about my backpack, watching it at all times, and it still got riffled once). Poverty so endemic as this first induces a feeling of massive guilt, then a feeling of hopelessness, then a feeling of cold determination not to notice or care about it. But there is no denying that no matter how poor you think you are in the U.S., you are Daddy Warbucks when you come to Peru. I've been thinking a lot about G.W. style globalization on this trip, wondering if it can truly raise countries like Peru out of grinding poverty. Julie is good at pointing out all the reasons this thinking is flawed. (you can email her for details)
4) TripleKola tastes like bubble gum. To me cola is supposed to taste like PepsiCola, CokeCola, RC Cola and other such colas, but maybe with a K all bets are off.
5) The bathrooms are hella gross yo. HELLA GROSS
6) All the guidebooks say Lima is a cesspool. Overall I would have to concur. Julie is a bit lighter on the city, but she also gives money to street kids and is clearly not in possession of good judgment. (god bless her soul)
7) ummmm sleeping in an airport is never fun. (can you tell we're having trouble thinking of things to say about Lima? we were only there a day for crissakes. now we are in cuzco and it is raining, raining, raining. the end)
p.s. i almost forgot the BIG NEWS. after 2.75 years, julie has removed her nipple piercing!! this was not an easy decision to make and let's all be there for her in her time of bereavement. this is the conversation we had when she took it out.
Julie (removing one end of the barbell): Hey this looks like a pirate!
Me: Pshaw, what are you talking about.
Julie (shows it)
Me: Hey it kind of does. (it looked like a pirate with an eyepatch. i guess you will have to take our word for this. it was quite an interesting conversation, really)
Ummmmm crushes thus far in Lima
Josie: girl from maine with soccer player legs. all her money got stolen in valpraiso and we were speculating that she would have to start selling helado on the streets of santiago to raise enough money to go home. haha that made me laugh. she was cute, she was
Magda: i didnt really have a crush on magda but she was cute. i guess she's never going to read this so i can discuss j & i's analysis of the magda situation. basically she had a cute body but her face was a bit weird. i think it was the eyelids or something. but she always looked bemused and she had rad socks.
hmmmm I have not actually had any major crushes on this trip. there was this brazilian girl that i thought was hot for a while but then (shallowness ahoy) i realized her legs were kind of stubby. man i sound like such an asshole. julie wants me to add that she had a palolo (boyfriend) and perhaps this colored my perspective. in any case she was quite nice
Oh also -- Julie "pulled" one night at this lesbian nightclub we were at. She is a go'getter and she got. But all went horribly awry when they went back to the girl's place because she (the hookup girl) lives with her mom and three little brothers in the ghetto and they (hookup girl and julie) had to spend all night tiptoeing and being very quiet and not touching or in any way "hooking up". so i take that back, julie's lame
what else. some of our teachers at the language school were really interesting, for example mauricio spent 6 years in exile in russia (i'm not sure where but i like think siberia (julie informs me it was actually st. petersburg-- i dont care, in my head it will always be siberia)) after the coup and consequently he speaks fluent russian. alejandra got thrown in prison during the dictatorship for having thrown molotov cocktails during protests (despite the fact that her uncle is a super high ranking figure in the military). let's face it, we didn't have a lot of conservatives at our school.
we are drinking water that tastes like iodine.
ummmm i guess i'm about done but it's still raining outside. i got a hat like julie's. plans to meet luis in berlin next year or the next. or to go to israel, we met these nice kids from jeruselem. ok my sleeve is being cruelly tugged, bye!