Published: December 23rd 2008December 13th 2008
I arrived last night at the house at around 02:00; Javier’s sister was awake and waiting for me. The drive from the airport was quite exciting. The man who picked me up and his wife were so very nice, their 12-year-old daughter made a sign with my name on it so they could find me at the airport. The drive was quite exciting, the first thing I noticed about Perú, is that the people here drive very scary! There is always a lot of traffic, and they absolutely fly. Luckily there are stop lights and signs guiding traffic of course, but often times instead of two large lights there is one small light on the corner, and it seems to me that they are more of guidelines than requirements. At some rather busy intersections, however, they don’t even have those. Everyone seems to know how it works though, I haven’t seen an accident yet, but I wouldn’t make five minutes driving a car. To be safe though, they do honk their horns when approaching intersections where cars might be coming and there isn’t much visibility, or when someone is swerving and near hitting them (which I have seen a few
times), or when someone slows down in front of them and they don’t think its necessary, or when someone isn’t going fast enough, or sometimes for some other reason that I have yet to discover. There is a lot of horn honking. Considering I have trouble crossing the streets in the tiny town of Prescott where there are very conveniently large lights on all the corners telling you exactly when to cross, and people rarely speed too much because the cops are like nazis, it is amazing I have made it through the day (though I have already had several close calls both while riding in a car and while driving).
Thus far, I have not eaten a lot of food here, two meals, but it has been very delicious. After breakfast this morning I went to the market and bought a couple of kinds of tea and two kinds of fruit. My favorite part about traveling is the food, and my favorite part about trying new foods is the fruit. I tried something funky and green that was very sour, and after lunch was served (soup, ravioli, and salad which consisted of cooked cucumber and some pea like
things) I ate a plate of fruits, which included mango, peach, I think pear, and some other yummy fruits that were quite lovely and delicious but whose names I cannot remember.
I have spent the last few hours with Javier’s father and sister, and then just his sister and I walked around the beach mall area and some shops in Miraflores. I have resolved to spending most of my day in utter confusion, okay granted it is my first day, but when I was in Mexico I don’t feel like my Spanish improved all that much. I mostly listen and nod and say either sí or no, depending on my guess of which is appropriate at the time, and when someone’s reaction indicates that sí or no may not be the appropriate response I say como? or que? (what?) and make them repeat it several times until I say “no entiendo,” they repeat it to me a few more times, I look up some words in my dictionary, then we both give up and sit in silence a few moments until we think of something else to say. My Spanish gets especially bad when I feel low on energy,
whenever I get tired my brain just completely shuts down and refuses to understand anything in Spanish. Javier’s sister can actually speak some English, but I try really hard to speak in Spanish, I am trying to convince myself my Spanish will actually improve if I do this, though I may just be kidding myself.
Anyways, the house where I am staying is absolutely lovely, and everyone has been very nice. They are really wonderful people. The house is very pretty, when you walk in the front door you are in an open sort of courtyard, to the left are some plants, straight ahead is spiral staircase, and to the right is the main part of the house, the kitchen, dining room, living room, and steps to additional bedrooms. Up the spiral staircase in the courtyard there is a little area on top of the main part of the house that is open, then a hallway and couple of bedrooms which is where I stay. I even have my own bathroom in there!
One interesting thing I have noticed, being that it is mid December is no Christmas tree! Around the city there are lights and trees with
lights and a star on top, and other various Christmasy decorations such as Santa Clauses. On the homes, however, there are no Christmas lights, and there is no Christmas tree in the house either. A Christmas tree is normal around here on Christmas though, and Javier and I will be putting one up soon. I think I read somewhere that some of these Christmas decoration ideas they got from the US. They got other things from the US, unfortunately it is mostly McDonalds, Dominoes, KFC, and Hooters.
Lima really is a lovely city, but massive! The car exhaust hurts my lungs after a couple of days of being here, but there is always stuff to do here which is nice. While I am not a big fan of large corporate America, and especially McDonalds, I am posting this blog via McDonald's free wifi!
There are more photos below