Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day 9: Catching You Up

These past couple of days, we dropped like flies. First it was me. I know, I know, in the last post I said I was doing better. I was WRONG! The next day it was Javier. But don´t worry, this time we are totally fine (knocking on wood).

We went to a waterpark that was recently built in Lima. It´s actually more of a water-fountain park. There are like 20 fountains built on the park and people walk around and admire them. There are about 2 or 3 big fountains that are interactive and you´ll find all the Peruvian children running around in them. The water jumps around, gets bigger, then smaller etc., etc. When I first walked in, I thought, ¨What a waste of water...¨ It´s a long way away from the days when I came to Peru as a child and there were signs everywhere saying, ¨Conserva cada gota¨(Conserve each drop) or something like that. Once I got over this mental shift I realized what this park really was. It was a big piece of propaganda that the mayer was using to show how much he had improved Lima. Inside of a tunnel in the park, there were many before/after images of all the construction efforts that he had sanctioned. Starting at 7:00 pm. there was a water show that included music, lasers, pictures, and of course water. It was similar to the hydro jet show in front of the Bellagio in Vegas, except this laser show had a lot of Peruvian nationalism in it. At the end of the show the mayers´slogan appeared very simply: ¨Construyendo¨ (constructing) and ¨Cuidad de Lima¨. Then of course followed the many sponsors: Inca Cola, Telefonica, etc. I realize I´m putting an emphasis on the whole propaganda thing, but in all honesty, it´s true. Lima does seem to be getting better, and I guess you need propaganda to get the word out.

I visited my grandma and took some of my family out to lunch as has now become customary. One of my closest cousins in Peru was able to come with her 1 yr old daughter. She is a CUTE baby! I don´t say that too often about babies. Trust me, there are some oogly babies out there. She has her Daddy´s slanted eyes and they each slant downwards at what seems like a 45 degree angle. At one point she was just staring at me and she looked too perfect to be human. I couldn´t figure out where I had seen her eyes before other than on her father. There was someone else she was reminding me of. Then..... I got it!

Cindy Loo Who! From Whoville of course. Separated at birth. Of course, she´s the Peruvian version (Cyndia-Lucia-Ju, De Jubilla) .

After the lunch we went with my cousin and her husband to a place on the beach called La Herradura, where a band called Revolver was playing. They played a mix of music, including English. I decided to film while they covered a song that reminded me of my Dad, originally sung by Los Iracundos. The reason it reminded me of him is because growing up, I was always woken up on my Saturdays and Sundays by either of 2 things: A vacuum that suddenly opened my door and whirled loudly around my room and under my bed (fueled my mom-power of course) and suddenly disappeared, OR the sound of the living room radio BLASTING and I mean BLASTING nostalgic songs from my fathers´past. Now, those songs have indirectly become a part of my past due to the blasting music seeping into my subconsiousness in mid-sleep.

The band sang pretty good, but they butchered the English songs. People in Peru can´t tell if you´re singing the song right. If it sounds good, they must be singing it right. I on the otherhand, knew exactly how bad they were butchering Robbie Williams´¨Lovin´angels instead¨. It´s too bad too. I really liked that song. Now it will always remind me of that time we heard the band Revolver in Peru.
(That´s my newest piece of jewelry. My mother inlaw taught me how to make a necklace designed with a slight curve in the middle. Seems simple enough, but boy is it complicated when you are just learning. Beading seems to be a blend of math and geometry, for me at least.)

English music is extremely common in Peru. Every taxi that I´ve ridden in plays English music. Even when we went to a travel agency to secure our trip to the jungle, they were playing English music. The young lady that helped us with our itinerary was singing along to a Pink song and I couldn´t help but hang on her every word. It was funny. You know when you don´t know the words to a song, it´s funny. But on top of that, when you don´t know the language and have an accent, it´s hilarious. She basically sang like she didn´t know for the entire song.

So we´ve got our itinerary ready. We´re going to the Amazon jungle for 4 days and 3 nights beginning on the 15th. We had a heck of a time trying to pay for it though. They wanted everything in cash, but we´re 9 people. Only two of which are paying for the trip. They charge an 8% fee to use your card. After a lot of back and forth with itinerary, flight, and price adjustments, we were ready to pay and guess what: they only accept Visa. Ugh! Neither of us brought Visas this time. It´s true: Life takes Visa... so does Peru. I won´t go into everything that happened but after running around Lima for awhile we found a way to pay for our trip.

I don´t remember everything on the itinerary right now, but I can tell you that we´re going to see some gray and supposedly pink dolphins, a secluded monkey island, a town that´s built on top of water (kinda like a tribal Venice if you want to make it all romantic), and lots of other stuff. I can´t wait!

Today we decided to go to the beach with the fams. We went to Asia... no silly, not that Asia. A town called Asia that is an hour and a 1/2 away from Lima on bus. It´s supposedly a very popular tourist area known for beaches and clubs at night. Ehhh, cosi-cosi, mas-o-menos, so-so, whatever language you say it in: it was OK.

First of all, we got off the bus too early..... don´t even get me started. Then we asked a street vendor lady where the beaches are. She proceeds to tell us that here all the beaches are private and they will not let you in unless you are a resident. Then a taxi comes by and tells us that it´s not private and he can take us there for 4 soles (The current exchange rate is roughly 3 soles for every 1 dollar). Then the lady tells us he´s lying to get 4 soles, then another taxi comes to argue with the first taxi yelling, ¨Why would you lie to these tourist for 4 soles, man... blah blah blah¨ What a scene.

Anyway, somehow the second taxi got us to go with him just ¨check it out¨. I saw a BIG sign at the entrance that spelled out ¨Residentes¨. After some discussion with the police officer at the gate (us being tourists and my father inlaw being a retired police officer). They let us in. It was kinda cold, really windy, and they didn´t let you bring food or use the ¨resident´s umbrellas¨. Like I said, ehhh. But there you go.

So that´s what I´ve been up to.

Ciao for now!


Beauty Maintenance said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

OMG you have had an adventure and you haven't even gotten to the jungle yet! What happened to your resident ID from last time? I can't wait to see the Jungle video and pictures, especially of Monkey Island! Isla de Mono?