• basakbalkan

Here I am!


It took ages for all of the travelers to get their suitcases last night. We were all worried and some of us laughed together as we worried. I have the feeling that Peruvians are very open and communicative! "Muy inquietante!" I said to the woman next to me, after we'd been waiting in vain for half an hour. She laughed and said Increible! Then there were no other bags forthcoming and all of a sudden some people ran to another baggage thingy and after another 40 minutes of so yeeesssss darling, beautiful blue backpack, there you are, I nearly cried out as I truly did run towards it, arms open wide :))

Then I found my taxi driver, who was worried I was never going to show up. He was a big, young guy; a true teacher who asked me questions throughout the TWO hour drive to my apartment. He was so enthusiastic about furthering my Spanish skills that he gave me a book to read out loud, asked me to summarize what I'd understood and said that just from my reading anyone would think that I spoke perfect Castillano... Hahahah! And he took his enthusiasm to another level when he suddenly left the road and started to park in front of a nice café on a mirador (promontory) above the ocean... Que hace? I asked him, what are you doing? He said, let's have a drink and get to know each other better... By that time it was 3.30 in the morning for me, my head was spinning as it has never spinned when I am sober, and my poor landlady was waiting for me at home... And anyways...! So I explained all this and after he'd swallowed his disappointment, he went on to tell me about Parque Kennedy (what on earth is Kennedy doing in Peru?)and all the night life around it -- which I will explore this week-end!

The traffic here is unlike any I've seen in Istanbul or elsewhere. It just wouldn't move. There are NO rules (just pisco hahaha) and even the police officer who was up in her tower (like beach life-savers!) told my driver to do something crazy, dangerous, and probably illegal, which he did do. The presence of traffic wardens in that unmoving chaos seemed absurd. Then there are these tiny little taxis for just one passenger! (photos will follow some day) And the ancient buses, like old American school buses... It seems there are accidents all the time. But you get to Miraflores, the upper-end neighborhood, and everything changes. There are signs everywhere reminding drivers to get their hands OFF the claxon, other saying Silencio! It's cleaner and more organized. There are huge high-rises with probably beautiful views over the ocean and other streets with small two-story houses. I wonder if they have gardens? There are many parks, many which seem to be brand new. Actually, the whole road which follows the ocean (it is SO like the Sahilyolu at Kadıköy, with sports areas and joggers and all) seems to be brand new and I really wonder if it's filled-up land, grabbed from the ocean. All the trees as as yet mere saplings. And there are evacuation bridges all along the ocean!!! It seems the ocean can get dangerous around here!!


We FINALLY made it to my apartment (rented for a week on my behalf by the language school I'll attend). The concierge immediately recognized this backpacker to be for Senora Rosalba and took me to the 4th floor, where Rosalba hugged me as if I were her long-lost daughter and frankly I had no problem returning the hug as I am a person who finds rest in affection. I was a balm to my exhausted heart. But we looked around the apartment, which is very old-fashioned and clean and quite biggish and where I WILL BE ALL ALONE - such luxury!!!! (I was supposed to share it with at least one other student) And then we went out to get me some bread and cheese for breakfast. Yes, everything was still open at 9PM. Then we hugged affectionately again and she left.

Of course, being my mother's daughter, I was incapable of not emptying by backpack and putting everything in its right place, while the world spinned around at 150 km/h!

I went to bed at 5AM Belgian time.

And now I will go out and explore!


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