Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 25 - 27, 2015

Chorillos, near Lima, Peru – I’ve been a little remiss in keeping up with this blog. The truth is I’ve been spending my time taking in Peru and the people around me and I haven’t had an opportunity to sit down and write about it. And now I’ve arrived at the final two days of storytelling. It doesn’t seem possible.

Monday was a day to clean house, do laundry and get to know our upstairs neighbors Jamie and Diane.
They are a lovely couple from near Winnipeg. Jamie is here for a month of school appearances and then they will be following my footsteps to Cusco and Machu Picchu.

The rooftop apartment that they are in has a lovely patio where I’ve gone to do Tai Chi once or twice. From there you can hear some of Peru’s military recruits shouting their chants during morning exercises . You can also see the hills above Lima where there is a Christ figure blessing the world below.

Monday night we all went back to Travesura Marina. We arrived just as they were closing, but when the waitress, Cynthia saw us, she recognized me and greeted me like a long lost grandfather. We were all invited in and given the royal treatment.

I had a more reasonable dinner of ceviche and causo, a dish made of mashed potatoes and crab meat. The restaurant gave us all a free round of shots of Pisco Sour. Pisco was familiar to me from my tour in Peru, where I also had a Pisco Sour. Chile and Peru both claim Pisco as their own. Pablo and Sergio say there is a difference
in the flavors, but I would have to spend more time investigating that claim to confirm it.

Tuesday it was back to work for me at San Ignacio de Ricalde, the school I was at on my third day of work in Lima. Things went a bit better for me but it was still hard work. It didn’t help that there was a cajón class being held just outside the gym where I was performing.

Tuesday night Pablo and I had dinner together in our apartment. Then Jamie knocked on our door. Sergio wasn’t feeling well. For some reason he had assumed it would be OK to drink water straight from the tap. This is an idea that even the locals find appalling. I’ve always used bottled water in my Latin American tours and particularly in Lima, where, to me, the water even smells bad, I’ve been careful about keeping my contact with raw tap water down to a minimum. The end result of this all was that Jamie had lost his tour manager for the next day’s work. Flurried e-mails, texts and What’s App messages ensued. We decided that since my Spanish was fairly reasonable, Pablo would accompany Jamie to his school on Wednesday, and I would go to mine alone. Pablo would meet me later that day at the school I was working at, Villa Maria de Miraflores. Everything went just fine, thanks in part to the regular taxi drivers we’ve been using, Ronaldo and Juan Carlos. By the end of the day Sergio was feeling a bit better and we all had dinner at our apartment and then left Sergio for more rest while we got ice cream at the local mall.

Malls are, of course, largely the same the world over. Still, you can find intriguing variations in the stores. Like this foot spa that uses fish to get the old pedicure going. Not sure if the fish are then marketed to the local restaurants…

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