Ok I’ve been avoiding this, but I said I'd do it so here it goes:
August 31 2011
Oh God Lima is a piece of work. This place is fucking nuts, every section of every building is different than the one next to it, that may sound stupid but its really crazy looking. There are people everywhere and the driving is nothing less than psychotic. I mean, I’ve seen big city driving, I’ve driven in big cities…But. I am telling you – do NOT under estimate the power of a Peruvian driver. I have NEVER seen driving like this. In my first day out here I saw a bus full of people (think sardines in a can but with more sardines and a smaller can) that just crashed into a minivan and nobody batted an eye. Stop lights seem to be based solely on suggestion and the constant abuse of your car’s horn is entirely mandatory.
I got my moment of paralyzing anxiety out of the way within the first few hours of being here. I have never felt that alone before. Literally having just lain down to sleep off that awful excuse for a flight I realized where I was and what the FUCK I had just gotten myself into. I don’t know a SOUL in this ENTIRE country, God that’s intimidating. In that moment of panic my logical side knows I’m in this 100% and I’m going to stick it out even though I’m about to shit my pants, but the only thing I could think was “ WHAT the FUCK are you doing here!? You’ve got to get the FUCK OUT OF HERE! ohshitohitohshitohOHSHITshitohshitOHSHITohshitohshitohshit. I need water.” Long story short I go get water and I finally meet Kelly, who owns the house, and instantly felt at home. Both she and her boyfriend Christian treat me like they’ve known me for years. We drove around all of Wednesday and I got to see a lot of different areas of Lima. We ended the day buying a dryer and eating cake with Christian’s mom and family…I love cake.
It’s harder than I thought it would be to use my camera in the city, and for good reason. Let’s face facts here: I’m a gringa. I’m a gringa all by herself in the big city with a big camera, I basically have a huge target on my back; And no matter how many times I tell the police officer with a gold tooth that I am NOT lost and I am NOT alone and my friend is definitely somewhere around here, I still look lost and alone with a big camera. Great. I am NOT lost I am HAGGELING a deal with a stubborn TAXI DRIVER! Ok I’m getting off track, that taxi driver was ridiculous. 20 soles for a 12 sole ride at best. I may be a gringa but I am not a stupid gringa.
September 3 2011
Ok I love it here. There’s always something to do in a big city, and I’m finding more positive things about being a gringa. For instance, two nights ago after eating all you can eat sushi (oh my god.) the bartender lets me come behind the bar and make my own drink, something EXTREMELY peruvian (maybe a Peruvianismo?) that has pisco and raw eggs in it. I bit my tongue and didn’t tell the bartender that it wasn’t sanitary or safe to eat raw eggs (be proud. Very proud), I just poured them into my drink like a champ. Like a CHAMP.
The next morning I ate the biggest fucking pile of ceviche I’ve ever seen (ok I’ve never seen ceviche before but I’ve also never eaten such a massive pile of raw fish). Apparently that and a beer is the national hangover cure….because what more could you want than a pile of raw fish when you feel like youre going to fucking toss your cookies? (note: it totally works).
The beauty of taxis: I walk and walk and walk and walk and it doesn’t matter if I have no fucking idea where I am (short of knowing not to cross “the bridge” because if I cross “the bridge” I’m in “big trouble”.) in a city of 10 million people, I hail a cab and I’m on the right track again. Getting lost while still avoiding awful ghettos: check.
Taught a taxi driver how to use the manual setting of his camera. In Spanish. Like a CHAMP. Oh God, ok I’m going to stop saying that now forever.