Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Happily Back at Sea Level
Today we saw another side of Peru. Off to upscale Miraflores and the JW Marriott, the fanciest hotel in Lima, and casino, Vegas-style. My brother Aaron and his wife Tania have a connection there for us, a family they know who have moved from Grand Cayman. We left a message and hope to meet them before we leave. Then we were greeted by a screaming crowd of teenage girls waiting for the rock band "Tokio" something.. (anyone heard of them? a German boy-band with MTV awards?) Apparently, they are holding a concert here tonight. Across from the hotel is an up-scale mall built into the side of the ocean-side cliff, complete with bowling alleys, chain restaurants (Tony Roma's, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts...) and a cineplex, so yes! Kids got to see Harry Potter in English with Spanish subtitles... ex-large popcorn and pop, plus movie for 18 soles (6 bucks) each - Derek got his pop for free (!). And the theater was empty (the 6 of us, plus 4 other people) for the matinee show. Perfecto!
After an American meal and a show, it was easy to forget where we were, until we emerged and were approached by 2 young moms holding infants, begging for money to feed their children. Along the street there are old, banged up cars mixed in with Porches and BMW's, and mini-busses crammed with 60 or so people inside. There are shiny, glass buildings next to piles of rubble and rebar. And noise: constant honking as impatient drivers switch from lane to lane to lane, and then up on the sidewalk! Driving here is truly crazy, even with police whistling on every corner and pedestrians dodging between cars. Dogs running everywhere, some on leash but most without. And EVERYONE, young, old, rich, not-so-rich, tourist, local, even the lady in traditional Inca dress, talking and texting on a cell. Definately: Loco.