Back in it. Or should I yell,
I’m back in South America! Yeowwww!
I had to yell because of all the honking and horns and heckling in the streets.
Well, I’m here. Arrived in Lima after a bumpy flight. Not so bad, they fed me dinner and breakfast and I even sat next to a cool dude from Seattle on the airplane.
Once I picked up my pack and successfully made it through customs, I headed out of the airport. Headed where, you may ask? My good friends Blake and Brenna were in Peru around this time last year and they ‘couchsurfed’ with a guy named Mario and his family. Blake passed on the recommendation to me and I contacted Mario through Couchsurfing. It’s an online community where people host or people ask to stay. It’s often free and a major component about it is to meet local folks, as opposed to just other travelers in hostels.
So I’m heading to Mario’s house. In an email he sent he said that he lives about 10 minutes from the airport and the taxi shouldn’t charge me more than $6 USD or 15soles. Here’s a thing to note: Taxis outside the airport can be sketchy. Therfore, there are taxi companies inside the airport who are recognized for their security and safety. But when I asked them how much it would cost to go to Mario’s address, the nice, safe taxis told me the cost would be $45 USD or nearly 150soles! My chin dropped and I said no thanks and I walked outside. The taxis on this near side of the street are far better than the taxis across the street, so I asked the first group of guys, who are noted as well to be secure rides.
Cuanto cuesta para alla? -me
40 soles. -taxi dude
¿En serio? Mi amigo me dice nada mas de 15soles. -me
…laughter… -taxi dudes
Ok. 20 Soles. -me
No. 35 soles. -taxi dude
30 soles. -me
30 soles. Ok, vamos. -taxi dude
I made it there. The taxi dude was nice. I didn’t die, but was instantly reminded of Peruvian driving. Lines mean NOTHING. Blinkers mean NOTHING. Horns I guess mean something…
A girl on the balcony called out to Mario when she saw me…that’s when I knew I was in the right place.
I met about 6 people in the first 10 minutes. Mario is awesome. First of all. But I met a lot of his family…everyone lives in the same house. Aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers. It’s fun.
After I settled into my room (sweet room with a bed), I headed out with Mario and his younger cousin Karyme. Speaking spanish henceforward.
Mario likes to dance. Not only does he like to dance, he is a dancer. A marinario. The three of us rode a bus across Lima for about 45 minutes or so to Callao, where there was a massive street festival. A parade. Mario was in it. He changed in a barber shop into a white pressed shirt and white pants and a light hat with a huge brim. Wow.
Costumes, floats, caballos pasos (elegant horses — Mario’s dance emulates the way these horses prance).
Karyme told me that Mario has won multiple dance competitions. I believe it.
Karyme and I walked/ran for 2 hours along the sidewalks of thousands of people while Mario danced his way through the streets with others from the Universidad de Lima. It felt like a 5k race. I think it was pretty close. We ended up in Miraflores and he was exhausted and we were exhausted. We headed across the street to a restaurant and dined on pollo risa (a peruvian specialty).
The bus ride back to Mario’s house was long, but fun to look out the window. Bumpy. Mario, his older brother Raul, and I chatted until past midnight and then called it quits.Advertisements