Crazed hoards flock to cabins where horoscopes hold hope – home to kin of a people superstitously stocked. And see sugar, oh, the sugar.
Powdered ice, sauces smother, in hands of heavy women wanting takeaway wantons. Near the Big Red of Chinatown, buy Chaufa at Chifas then later feel cheated and crack up at jacked up costs – for you´re just a gringo.
But nightfall is different.
It´s lively, there´s laughter from little young chicos. They´re lining the streets wanting sweets (getting bought them) whilst locals are lining their pockets (and then some). There´s a definite instance of spoilt young children in Lima; where money´s made, parents will spend. And it flies in your face – sharp relief to the grief on the street in the cities more steeped in misfortune. Yet these children are spritely; they speak with you nightly and nought can null confidence innately possessed. Two young sisters approached in the Plaza, persistent the older had perfect white skin ¨just like mine¨. The distinction she drew between her and her sister was strange yet expected – here White is Divine.
If you walk around early you miss the absurdly late markets meandering all down the path – with plastic pigs barking, bird whistles for larking – while mascots for merchandise stores make you laugh. There are grown men in clown suits, getting beeped by the horn toots of limitless taxis who tax up your time. Very happy to charge but their knowledge ain´t large of the streets that comprise their own city and trade. Then your patience it quakes as they jump on the brakes and their head starts to shake, blaming ¨traffic today¨.
Yet for hassles surrounding, you founded your love on the trials and value of travel, compounded. Cloud clears from all sky, for tranquility´s eye keeps a close watch on what is obscured (but is nigh).
And you know that back home you´ll be missing the grown men in clown suits; instead, only clowns in their day suits. And the holes in the pavement you frequently trip on; replaced with monotonous concrete in-line. And the thrill of the street food that might give you gastro; you´ll find only over-priced Maccas and Fries. Yes, you can start complaining of danger and lamely avoid going out after dark around 9. And you might start to hate all the hours you spend here in transit on buses to get to That Place. And you might even tell me you´re tired of paying much more for things based on your skin and your race.
But I love all those travels – they´re part of the journey, and of much greater interest to me than your woes. Give me time, maps and courage for adventures to flourish and an acid-free notebook to record how it goes.