Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Today was our first outing to Lima. I haven't been there since I was twelve and don’t really remember much other than the sun hardly ever shines. I live up the hill a bit about an hour outside of Lima by regular car. By combi it takes at least an hour and a half, closer to two sometimes. Drivers here are pretty insane. The objective is to go faster, try to pass the car in front of you, then go even faster. That is when you’re not stuck at some uncontrolled intersection battling big rigs, other combis, BMWs and three wheeled motorcycles hauling all kinds of shit. Stopping at traffic lights is optional but they’re starting to crack down on that. The fine for running a light is about 300 Soles (100 bucks) or you can slip the cop a couple of Soles and you’re off.

Lima is about twice as large as New York City and, like New York, could use a real good power washing. We weren’t in the center of Lima too long but long enough to know I probably don’t want to spend too much time there. Ton of traffic, high crime, kind of dirty, and it’s overcast around 9 months out of the year. I don’t mean partly cloudy, I mean completely overcast. Good napping weather.

Down the street a few blocks from the Zona Central is Lima’s China Town. It’s not quite as authentic as Chicago’s or San Francisco’s. The only Chinese guy I saw was in a kiosk selling incense and telling fortunes. Our Spanish class found a “chifa” and had some pretty OK Chinese food. At least the Peruvians don’t serve their Chinese food with chopsticks so dopey, non-Chinese can look all cheap.

We left the center and went to Miraflores, which is down by the coast and is a pretty sweet, well kept part of town. There is a little shopping area overlooking the Pacific Ocean and beach, complete with a Chili’s, Tony Roma’s and movie theater. I did find a bar called The Corner, a sports bar that looked pretty legit. Apparently that’s where a bunch of ex-pats go to watch American football, baseball, NASCAR racin’, etc. I even found a Marriott that overlooks the Pacific Ocean where any visitors I may have (Albu) are welcome to stay and allow me to use their nice hot showers and worry-free flushing toilets.

No comments:

Post a Comment