Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 3: Hospitals and Mosquitos

I woke up pretty early this morning... or should I say that I was awoken early today. 6:00 am Peruvian time, which means 3:00 am American time. I still have my watch set to American time, so I don´t forget my roots. Sometime around 3:00 am Peruvian time (12 am American) I was battling it out with a mosquito that had infiltrated the bedroom. The mosquito won and I think it is still hanging out in our bedroom. When we got up, my husband had been attacked three times. As for me, not once. I think the mosquito doesn´t like blood sugar infused with McDonalds. I don´t know what else it could have against me and my blood. But if that is the case, I´ll have to eat some more Mickie D´s.

Well we got up early to run a few errands with my father in law. He is a cancer survivor and though his cancer is in remission, he still feels the effects from the quimo-therapy (I´m sure that I spelled that so wrong). So we were off to Lima´s most renound hospital for cancer: Something something Neoplasticas... My father in-law didn´t want me to enter the hospital because he was afraid of the germs so I waited outside with my brother in-law and I guess you can call him my step-son, though we are more like friends, and I can never consider myself a step-mom. It took at least 2 hours for my father in-law to get back and in that time I saw many faces walking by. A lot of people that walked by had signifant hairloss and were therefore wearing fashionable headwraps. What hit me most was when I saw toddlers with the same look. The old-fashioned, typical Peruvian look is the chola look as seen here:
Many cholas walked by as well. A definitive feature of the chola is her 2 long braids. Sadly, one chola that walked by had completely lost her braids. Hanging out at the hospital is never a fun experience.
After leaving the hospital having acheived nothing other than losing 2 hours of our morning, we had some lunch at a famous chain restaurant called ¨Mi Caracochita¨. I wasn´t that hungry because here they feed me like crazy so I thought I´d order something light. A ¨Caldo de Gallina¨ (hen soup, basically chicken soup). To my surprise the bowl was big enough for a family size portion so I had no resolve but to eat the entire thing.
We continued to run errands and along the way I saw a Qori (golden retriever) and thought about my sweetums for a bit. Though, I hear he is fine and ate yet another 2 cans of dog food! I also hear his master bathroom remodel is complete (the backyard fence) so now he´s livin large.
We bought an Aloe plant and honey because the witch doctor told us that a concoction using these items would bring better health to my father in law. My husband proceeded to make POUNDS of this concoction. He tends to go a little overboard with these kind of things. I think we will all be drinking this stuff for days to come. We bought the Aloe plant in some place called Ägraria¨. It probably translates to agrarian, which in turn means farming. There they sell many cultivated products including many natural herbs and natural healing medicines. When my husband came back with the Aloe plant, he handed us each a piece of candy that he bought. It was Coca Candy. Made from the cocaine leaf. I had to spit it out after just a few seconds. I can drink the Coca tea, but this candy was just too gross.

We didn´t ride in any taxis today because my brother in law was available to take us out and about. He honks too. And I noticed another thing: Instead of intersections, most sub-districts enlist the use of what they call an övalo¨ which is a big round-about with 4 tangent exits on each side. As mentioned in the previous blog, to exit on the right, they somehow miraculously come from a few lanes over from the left while space and time is running out. I am still studying this phenominon and how it is that few accidents occur. To the foreign eye, the round about seems like one big circle of confusion, chaos, and disorder, but somehow they all make it work. Here is a picture of the övalo¨nearest to the house:

Apart from these round-abouts being a big waste of space, notice anything familiar? There is a Starbucks, Chilis, Burger King, AND a McDonalds on the corner of this övalo¨. I took a picture of the McDonalds because it had the McCafe that my sister raved on and on about while she was in Italy. Looks like Peru even has one too. I wonder why these are not popular in the US? Is Starbucks too much competition?

Sorry for the poor quality, but it´s hard to take good photography while on the road in Peru. Also, it doesn´t help that people keep warning you that your nice camera can get stolen right from the window of the car... sheesh.

I also went to a nice mall and from afar, I saw a MAC counter! We had to leave, but I´m left wondering what the prices are like here. You would think that you can get stuff cheaper in Peru, but apparently brand names actually cost you more! Still... I´m left wondering... What if... What if it is cheaper.

I will have to check it out when I go back there. For now, it´s 7 pm here in Peru and I hope that they don´t feed me again. I remember the first trip here to my inlaws was horrible. Well, only in respect to the food. They fed me so much and so often that I didn´t have a chance to get hungry. By the middle of the trip, I swear I wanted to become vegetarian. Veggies just seemed lighter than what I was eating. I almost got that feeling again today. My stomache is starting to get affected. I plan on just having some tea and taking it easy. But I wouldn´t be surprised if I´m told that the solution to this is a glass of Aloe concoction and a piece of Coca Candy...


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