• basakbalkan

Epiphanious night (se dice?)



I spent the whole morning yesterday in the blissful feeling that I was on vacation. You may say that my whole life is a vacation, since I'm a freelancer, but you could also say that actually, I'm never on vacation. And anyways, when you live in your home, there's ALWAYS something to be done -- roses to be pruned, the house to be cleaned, a dead mouse to be taken out... Yesterday, although I had two episodes of a new series to subtitle, I felt as if I were on vacation. I woke up at 5AM, read, wrote, drifted back to sleep, woke up again, had breakfast, went back to sleep... Then at last I went out to the cliff café and stayed there for three hours, until I finished subtitling. My ass hurt terribly from the wooden bench I was sitting on (it seems the Swedes would say "my bum had the taste of wood." It most certainly did).


I decided to stay there and work so long because I thought I'd be going out with a friend of a friend that night; we'd decided to go to a posh restaurant. But when I asked him at 4 where and when we should meet, he informed me he wouldn't be able to make it. But I put on my earrings and mascara and went out to walk an hour to reach Cala, a very high-end bar right by the ocean,which is said to make the best pisco sours ever. So I walked for an hour through the parks on the cliffs and over highways and I walked and walked and an hour became an hour and a half and then more and it turns out I was up on the cliff when I should have been down at the beach.


But there was no way to go down. Google maps openly accepted defeat and said "we can't find a way there" except by car! I finally found a taxi and wow, was I lucky. The driver's name was John (yes, John) and we got along great. He understood everything I said and I understood most of his words :)) We went back aaallll the way, I told him I had walked through here and all the way from Miraflores. His jaw dropped. He dropped me off at Cala but I had only 10$ bills dollars so I gave him 10$ when I owed him only 5$. His solution was to give me his phone number so he could come and pick me up when I needed him! Cool.

I went into Cala and was greeted by a charming lady at her desk, who asked me if I'd reserved. I said no, and that I was alone. She looked utterly shocked. She hesitated and I said, well, may I go in! And she asked me where I'd like to sit. I said, outside. Again, she looked extremely surprised (maybe that's just her style). So I got my pisco sour and had a nice conversation with the bartender (who asked me how much of a tip I wanted to leave him! Now I was the one who was shocked).

I sat outside and that's when I had my epiphany. I was in Lima! I was here, in front of the ocean, alone and utterly happy about everything. I didn't need anyone, I didn't need a book or my phone to keep me company, I was just happy looking at and listening to the waves. And what a sound they made! The stones on the beach are huge and the waves make then sound like thunder when they roll over. I actually thought there were fireworks going on, so loud was the sound. What sort of bothers me (or not? I don't know) is that I did eventually feel the need to write about this moment on facebook. It was too strong to keep to myself, maybe? Too beautiful? I don't know but I really hope to wean myself out of this reflex or need or whatever it is. At the same time, it's so nice to communicate with all these people I appreciate...

The pisco sour was around three times bigger than they usually are in Brussels and much, much stronger (and just as expensive, which is saying a lot, in Peru)... I wouldn't have needed to drink anything else the whole night. And since it was so delicious, it was thoroughly satisfying!

Having finished it, I called John, who came and took me to Rafael's at Miraflores, another restaurant I'd read about: "Rafael Osterling is a culinary star in Peru and Colombia, where he owns two restaurants. His success started in the early aughts with Rafael, a stylish dining room in Miraflores that draws celebrities like the writer Mario Vargas Llosa and the musician David Guetta. Rafael serves a creative mix of international and Peruvian dishes, such as suckling goat braised in Madeira wine, served with a mishmash of sautéed rice and beans known as tacu-tacu (62 soles), or herb-crusted yellowfin tuna with emulsified basil and creamy potatoes (57 soles)." I had the latter... It was even better than it sounds.


I arrived at the restaurant, but it was full. They asked me to wait for a seat at the bar, when a guy sitting at the bar, heard this and gave me his seat while he stood next to his Columbian flirt. He was German-Syrian and spoke perfect French. I didn't know what to make of him. I have the feeling his friend didn't, either. He's one of those people who walks a thin line between being obnoxious and entertaining. After my first course (which he informed me was good, but I could have made a better choice, such as his), a table opened up and I decided to go and sit there. He saw me after a while had gone by and was actually pissed off at me because he'd thought I'd left without saying bye and he reminded me that without him, I'd never have been able to eat there that night!! Yes, thank you ever so much, I'm grateful!!! Then he gave me his number so we could eat out together this week, because it was difficult with two women at the same time...

During dinner there, my epiphany (or whatever it was) continued... This mixture of total self-confidence, carefree-ness, freedom, happiness is the coolest feeling I could ever feel on earth. It's better than anything!!! And a great part of this comes from the fact that I have enough money to do a lot of the things I want to do. I can't stop being grateful. You'd think I was catching religion, the way I say "çok şükür" all the time.

One of the symptoms of the miraculous feeling is that there is no room for negativity. When that guy said he wouldn't be able to make it tonight, I spent no time getting angry at him (it didn't come as much of a surprise, either), and I didn't go off saying "fuck him, blablabla". I just went out skipping, determined to have good time, accompanied or not. Let's hope it goes on like this! It is, after all, only my third day...

Then I walked home though lively Kennedy Square and SLEPT (till 5AM grrr).







Happy Başak



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