March 11, 2019

Peru


I visited some friends in Lima, Peru and it was six hours of knees rubbing the seat in front of me hell and eating a hamburger at a Carl Jr’s during a layover in Panama City...landed in Lima--greeted with a tour book by a cute young woman dressed in a Peruvian costume; something like you’d see in a movie if they made movies about young Peruvian women but they don’t...I wanna live with a cinnamon girl and eventually did...they didn’t give them out to all the people coming off the plane; just ones who looked like they were gringos out of place which despite my efforts, I evidently was classified as...on my way to the luggage area, the language, the signs, all of them strange to this non speaker of Spanish...as I walked, bright neon sign reached out and grabbed me...I looked over and it was a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant...it was like a junkie finding a fix...got my luggage and headed over for some Boston Crème donuts and some coffee...reunited with home through my taste buds...visited with my friends for a long time at their casa...the first night, I must have gotten to bed around 2:30 a.m. and as I tried to sleep, music was playing loudly from a house nearby...you could hear people yelling and laughing...like a beer commercial and I could see the scene looking at the ceiling in my bedroom like some weird kind of drive-in movie screen...even though the music was loud, it didn’t bother me like it would back home...maybe because I couldn’t understand the words and that didn’t bother me like it would if I knew the songs...I fell asleep to the rhythm of a Peruvian beat...Ticos zipped back and forth across the streets; evidently traffic lanes and signs were merely suggestions...it was like every black and white picture I ever saw of some South American country in an old encyclopedia that had come alive...there were lights and sounds and movements everywhere...the small bodega that sold fresh bread that we ate for breakfast and a late night snack...but everywhere you looked, you could see signs of the dreaded American culture invading...fancy shopping malls; upscale overpriced restaurants that you could find back home, flea markets that had the dreaded N.Y. Yankees hats and other American junk...as time went by, I tried different foods...pollo a la brasa and arroz chaufa which kicked the ass of any other I had ever eaten...we also had chicharrones which is pork on bread that some guy on a bicycle delivered to the house...had a zipper on my cheap leather jacket from K-Mart break...I played gypsy fortune teller and saw its future in a Lima city dumpster but was told to take it to a local market to get it fixed...handed it over to a guy who looked suspicious but repaired shoes, jackets...he told me to come back in an hour...as I turned it over, I thought goodbye jacket, I’ll never see you again...but an hour later I picked it up; the zipper was fixed and the jacket received a reprieve from the governor...it worked perfectly and he charged me the equivalent of five U.S. dollars...well, my trip ended and I went to the airport...sadder than sad to be leaving...walking to the gate to catch my plane and my eyes were again captured by the neon of that Dunkin’ Donuts sign...this time though, it was the enemy...no longer an oasis; instead, an intruder as so much of American culture has been around the world...passed it up and caught my plane back to the evil empire.