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"It's a good idea to obey all the rules when you're young just so you'll have the strength to break them when you're old." -- Mark Twain

Episode 2: Peru
@ Where`s Cherie?     Aug 05 2002 - 16:02 PST
cherie writes: January 1999

I am in Peru. I am staying with a wonderful family whose child stares at me all day long. Whenever she cries they bring her in to look at me and she seems mesmerized. She has never seen anyone blonde before. Her wide eyes are either saying she likes me a lot, or she is very scared of me. The worst thing that has happened so far is a minor explosion of my body lotion in my suitcase. So all of my toiletries are very very moist and supple.

I felt like I was flying into a movie when I came here, shack-like houses litter the sides of the mountains in colors that it seems children have chosen, a white one, then green, then pink. The people are kind, and generous, but do not speak any English, so just when I think I am a pro at speaking Spanish, I order something and it comes out completely different from what I had intended. That is when I pretend like I really did want to eat what is now sitting in front of me, and I try to swirl it around on my plate and cover it up with a napkin. The city of Lima is celebrating an anniversary so everyone is dressed in these ornate gowns. And the churches, they are ordained with colored glass, gold and truly take your breath away with their grandeur and magnificence. This morning as I lay in my bed A gentleman walked up and down the street with a megaphone screaming "Mangos...Mangos...Mangos..¨" The first few times, I thought, how quaint. After the fourth or fifth round of his Mango song, I was thinking this country could really use a lesson in some marketing skills. Around the tenth lap around the block I found myself slightly irritated, and after about the fifteenth time I couldn't help myself...I really wanted a Mango. It worked. The irony of Peru is that it will cost me more to send a postcard than to spend a night in my hotel. All my meals so far have been Chinese, it seems to be the food of choice. I guess I´ll have to head to China for Peruvian cuisine. I am trying to eat healthy, and as I patted myself on the back for ordering fish with vegetables for dinner, the fish came fried, and the vegetables were soaked in a sweet and sour sauce. I have already read two books, and I have 4 more I aspire to finish by the end of my journey. In a few days I will head to the ocean, and then to the Andean mountains to see some Incan ruins. So far Lima feels much safer than San Jose, Costa Rica. "Pura Vida" Cherie

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