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March 18, 2006

Welcome to Lima!

We've had a fab first day hanging out with Margaret and Andy in their neighborhood of Barranca in Lima! The flights in were fine, a bit long, though maybe that's because the movie was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I have to say I'm spoiled after my Asian travels on China Air...our Delta flight, with loud flight attendants, prepackaged snacks, prepackaged meals, dilapidated tray tables, loose toilet seats and barf-like marks on the seat in front of you were pretty ghetto in comparison to the soft-voiced personal service (including hot towels, metal silverware and in-seat TiVo!) you can get to Asia.

Andy and Margaret picked us up at the airport in a taxi with a nice driver, and by gut instinct I buckled in, even in the back seat. It wasn't long until we hit a mogul in the road at such speed that we caught air—all of us flying up with our feet off the floorboards and Margaret missing crashing her head on the ceiling by about an eighth of an inch. Even our mild-mannered cabdriver muttered, Whoa! and slowed down a bit.

We snacked on Peruvian cheese and beers until late as Margaret and Andy checked out the new stereo they ordered on Amazon that Greg had schlepped for them. It turns out there are about three kinds of music on the radio here: sort of a Tejano-type traditional music, reggae-rap, and New Wave. Mostly New Wave.

Yes, the old New Wave that Detroit's WDRQ (sort of a KCRW back then) used to play when I was in high school. Remember Alphaville? Though occasionally they play versions with a twist: Have you ever heard The Smiths in Spanish?

Our short sleep after a late night was interrupted by the neighbors downstairs, who decided that 7:30am Saturday is a PERFECT time to crack out all of the tile from their bathroom with sledgehammers and crowbars. V. Funny, as Margaret had warned before we went to bed that their shower situation is "outdoor, or something" and we might hear her neighbor singing in the shower in the morning. Not the case!

We kicked around Barranca neighborhood all day. Went to a fabulous lunch nearby and shared ceviche, tiny garlic buttered fried shrimp, calamari and tacu-tacu, which is a bean/rice block smothered in a creamy "mariscos" sauce, which are random seafood that's not fish. Squid, octopus, other unidentifiable things smothered in a sauce so rich it didn't really matter what they were. It all was very good (though—I'm still not a calamari fan, even with the fried skin. I gave it the good college try, though.)

Greg has been enjoying his new high-res digital camera. Photo at the top of the post is his William Wegman moment with Bogart, who doesn't seem as patient a model as those weimeraners. I've posted some other photos on the Kodak Gallery site as well (find the View Photos Without Signing In link when you get to the page.

We also saw a great museum, a fun food market, and Greg tried Inca Kola. It's a soda made here, though recently bought out by Coke. It basically tastes like liquid carbonated Bubble Yum. A step up from Pink Fanta, I can attest.

Margaret bought a Granadilla — passionfruit! — and cracked it open on her forehead in the proper style. Delish! The seeds are similar to pomegranate seeds, but slimier inside—in a good way.

Tonight? Faux sushi in store. Andy raved: "It's good!—Well, sort of."

Posted by sedda at March 18, 2006 07:49 PM