Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lima today

Well, I thought I would just post a few things I have left over from previous days and give a rundown of what I did today.

This first video ties into what I wrote yesterday about the buses and how they sort of capture the culture of Lima.

A friend and I from the house I am staying at decided to go to the downtown area of Lima today and on the first bus we got on this man entered on the stop after ours and gave a little speech. This is very common on the buses, something you definitely don't see and we certainly don't condone in the US. The speech is always incredibly fast and praticed in the way that someone recites something they have said 500 times before, usually to the point that even the Peruvian passengers have some difficulty understanding what is being said. However, between myself and my Bolivian housemate we managed to gather that this guy does not have a job and he decided to travel all around Lima to spread the musical tradition of Paraguay. He played pretty well and after about 3 stops he pulled out a bag of candy and informed everyone that it was for sale for 50 cents and that if they desired he would be happy to take any additional donations thay would want to give. He sold a couple pieces of candy and got off to get onto another bus and do it all over. This happens very frequently. I think I probably saw at least 10 people, each with a different talk and thing that they were selling- candy, jewelry, ice cream, or maybe just a sad story. the interesting thing to me is that none of the bus drivers charge these passengers because they only stay on for a couple of stops usually, and from what I gather, the passengers usually tolerate this as a form of entertainment, depending on what the person has to do or say. I think in the US this would be viewed as an inappropriate way of making a little extra money, but no one seems to mind here.

So, enjoy the video. I would have taken more than 20 seconds, but it tends to attract unwanted attention to record something like this for an extended period of time.

So these pictures are from one of the main plazas in the downtown area of Lima called la Plaza de Armas, it is a site with a lot of historical significance from what I understand. If you click on the pictures you can take a closer look at some of the balconies that overhang the plaza, they are really ornately decorated and are obviously meticulously cleaned. one of the pictures is la casa presidencial, which is basically Peru's equivalent to the white house, where all the important stuff happens...

After this we went to a market called los Polvos Azules (which means powder blue for all you english speakers), which the largest counterfeit market in Lima, which is one of the top consumers of conterfeit products in the world. In addition to every type of counterfeit good you can imagine- designer clothes, shoes, dvd's, cd's, phones, etc., they also sell a lot of legitimate stuff at cut rate prices like electronics. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of the market, but it was huge. There are probably a few thousand separate stands on 4 levels of shopping. On the roof there are restaurants and stands where you can make calls from cell phones, similar to a regular pay phone, but for 10-20 cents peruvian. Pretty interesting place.

We took a cab from the market into Chinatown and ate lunch. Also pretty cool. Lima has a significant Chinese as well as Japanese population that started arriving shortly after Hiroshima and still continues to today.

Ok, I will post a couple more photos and wrap this up for the day.

Yep, this one speaks for itself. More from the zoo...

Ahh, now these might appear to be from the zoo, but in fact, these tiny deer roam all over the campus of the university which is coneccted to the property of the zoo. Very strange, these things are tiny, they are very domesticated and they just wander all over the campus...

I don't know what else to draw from that except that it just wouldn't happen at a school in the US.

Ok, I will be back with more tomorrow. I am going on Saturday to eat breakfast in a cafe that is owned by a lady me and my housemate met today at the home of a friend of his. We are going to eat a typical Chicharon breakfast which is a giant pulled pork sandwich served with tomato, a sauce called aji, and some other stuff. Pulled pork for breakfast? God bless America, or Peru, which contrary to the way we say things is part of the Americas, but that is for another time...


  1. I like the video! I saw similar things happen in Costa Rica. He probably thought that because you were taking video that you'd for sure give him some money. What a sucker.

  2. Oh, yes-yes, people in buses telling/singing/selling things happen to exist in a few Latin American countries. I've seen them in Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico.

    Deers, opossums, racoons and skunks are pretty typical in SIUE, next to Asha's home. We took walks to see them!

  3. I'm glad you're writing this blog; way to convince him Christine!
    ~Ryan W

  4. Love reading your blog! it is a lot of fun! Love your mommy

  5. My mom told me you had a blog, so I will now officially begin perusing it. I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Birthday!!!
    Hope you have a great day and are having an amazing time!
    Love you, cuz
    - Olivia