Saturday June 4, 2011 – Mira Flores
“How did you like sleeping next to LBJ?” Walter asks me. (LBJ is a highway in Dallas which is notoriously always busy.)
“I don’t think people on LBJ honk as much as these guys do,” I reply. The Peruvian drivers honk all the time. To avoid getting hit, to avoid hitting, to warn others at the intersection that they’re coming through, and maybe because they don’t know how to drive without honking. It’s a constant, almost melodic cacophony.
“If you want to go get some fruit for breakfast there is a little tienda about two blocks down the street.”
I go buy some platanos, a handful of apples and some water. I forget to look at the bottle and accidently get carbonated water. Yuck. Peru lesson number one: Always get water Sin Gas (without carbonation). Tap water in Peru is a no-drink deal. It’s advisable not to even brush your teeth with it. So I don’t. Back at Mary’s house, I eat 4 of the bananas and three apples. Remember the no-drink deal for Peru water? Well, this applies to washing apples as well. I use some soap and bottled water to clean them as best I can before eating. This tides me over for the moment.
We go to Larco Mar. It’s a shopping center built up next to the beach.
Walter shows me a couple of the spots where foreigners come to hang out. “Maybe you can get some people who want to take an adventure trip from here.”
High up on my list of things to do is: Go on My Own Adventure Trip. I need to get to Cusco soon, among other places. I wonder if some white girl approached me about taking a trip across Peru if I’d be up for it. That seems to be the current method of getting my new job up and going. If taking folks on adventure trips isn’t feasible I need to think up something else.
After another myriad of errands; to buy things for Casa Del Gringo, to get me a Peruvian phone number and to shop around at one of the open markets, we return to Mary’s house. She makes a very welcome meal of rice, sweet potato, broccoli, and an onion and tomato salad. In hers and Walter’s meal Mary includes some fish, I stay vegetarian for now. Mary asks me, “How do you get your protein?” Ah, even here, in Peru, that question demands an answer. After our late lunch, we all take a brief siesta.
Later I go down to hang out with Fernando. He’s working on a composition, laying the bass track for a song he’s worked on all day on the computer. It’s a catchy tune and while he works I zone out, dream, think, plan, and do a little writing.
The speakers jive to the beat
In time to the music
He works on his music, chats on facebook, answers emails, and watches videos. This is our world. So I write a little more.
It’s a social networking world
We exclude the people we sit next to
To speak with others
All over the world.
I reach for a phone
That no longer connects
Me to my
Own and solitary life
Aka all my friends.
It’s not an unpleasant time. His life, my life, it’s the artist’s way. Introverted, introspective, and sometimes somewhat selfish. When Fernando’s roommate Axel comes home I go and visit with him. We talk politics, music, books, life., etc… These two boys, Fernando and Axel, both know more about American musical culture than I do. Most of the you tube videos they watch are in English. The TV show series they enjoy are subtitled to Spanish. At least Fernando speaks very good English, I’m not sure about Axel, he and I conversed in Spanish. Which is good for me.
I feel so much smarter in English
Like a child here
Struggling to understand
To say the words
Crowded in my brain
My camera’s batteries died or I would have taken a picture of both boys. Maybe next weekend.