Monday, February 1, 2016

Peru 2014 Day 13: July 5- A Traumatic Haircut we Barely Survive

Peru 2014 Index


Anabelle had an appointment for a haircut with Conchito, who cut Rosa’s hair since she was little, at 9:30 AM Peruvian Standard Time. This is also known as 10:00 AM, if you’re lucky.

My daughter was thrilled to finally receive the short haircut she had wanted for close to a year.  The rest of the people related to her in that apartment were much sadder.

We all managed to endure the head lightening ponytail-ectomy, and Rosa and Abuelita left us alone to breakfast while they went to the bank to start converting our Soles back to US Currency, and run the various other morning errands in places where my sticky-outyness would be far more of a burden than a curiosity.

Abuelita wanted to take us to lunch before our trip ended, leading us back to Pardo’s Chicken when they finished.

On the way to the mall, there was a sign for a political candidate with the All Seeing Eye in the Pyramid logo on it.  Nothing like visible evidence to support the paranoia that reading the Illuminatus Trilogy always awakens to put a bit of freak-out in the day.

It continued to be disorienting having such authentic high quality Peruvian food in a mall restaurant.  This was particularly true toward the end of the meal while Classic Rock was playing, making the environs appear indistinguishable from a domestic chain.  Fortunately, when we first arrived, a World Cup game was on, which meant the music was off, and the eyes of every customer, employee and passerby was glued to the sets, assuring us that we were not in the United States.  Its saloon door and cool sink rest rooms were in contention for the country’s best, but missed by a hair.  Not an actual hair… that would have been kind of gross, and make it much further down the list.

I seem to have lost my narrative again.

Happily full of delectable chicken again, we browsed through the Sodimac store.  The closest equivalent here would be if instead of seasonal pallets of rock salt, Home Depot brought in pallets of local fruitcake and wine.  Those were much happier pallets.

There were also large displays of World Cup themed merchandise by Disney.  Yes, the Walt Disney Company has a better connection to goings on in the other nations of the Earth than our entire country has.  When are we going to wise up and just let Disney run everything?  Our national budget would show a major profit for the first time!

Another difference between our technology heavy usual environment and this culture with an abundance of willing human resources:  there were no self-check-out lines, and most registers had two cashiers to assure everything went smoothly.

It was back to Tottus for some supplies and terrified avoidance of Happyland.  We found more evidence of the excess of willing workers in the form of living commercials.  Being a weekend, the store aisles were filled with people employed by the various companies with products on the shelves, drawing attention to them, and discussing their merits.  Superficiality remained the same in both countries as the individuals chosen to call attention to the products were far more attractive than those chosen for double duty on the check out lines.

We had to pick up more of an item Anabelle and I had added to our list of favorite snacks, as well as favorite words to say.

They were actually flavored mini rolls, although they sounded more like one of Godzilla’s frequent opponents:
KaramiƱdunga! 

Ooh! I found an “n” with a thingy!  Maybe I should go back and fix all the “u”s in the “Menu”s?
Nah, too much work just to lose a stupid joke I happen to like.  Tough.

We also needed some water and other supplies, including Pisco.  There was a requirement to bring home a bottle of the national drink of Peru, which combines a sweet taste with a kick like an enraged alpaca.

I also NEEDED to buy a pack of crackers.  They were similar to Ritz, but with a slightly more complex taste. For some reason, no company has tried to import and release them in the U.S.

I think Nabisco missed the boat by not working on a dynamic marketing campaign for “Kraps!”

Sadly, there was no miniskirted Latin lass in the snack section extoling the virtues of this particular item. I guess no one wanted to be the “Kraps Girl.” Go figure.

We took a cab home, our Seatbelt Reclamation Protocols efficient and systematic by this point.

Weekend traffic was a bit less horrifyingly careening, making it a decent time to take note of the cultural differences in graffiti.


On the one hand, beneath the overpasses were complex and beautiful religious images of Jesus, Mary, or many of the Saints.   Again, there are cases where having the entire nation agree on a religion does have some beneficial side effects.

Most of the rest of the street art was “state commissioned,” I suppose.  It was covering over long sections of the outer walls surrounding courtyards and other areas that needed protection via an outer wall.  This graffiti was far less artistic, being simply huge white letters on a dark background suggesting that voting for the incumbent would be a good idea.

Rosa went to pick up the laundry and the oversized picture that came with our statistically insignificant film development.

Anabelle and I stayed behind and read more of the Alien Costume Saga.  She found the overloaded with 80’s Spidey continuity tale to be, “eh,” but wanted to know how it ended.

That’s my girl!

It probably goes without saying at this point that there was more Jetpack Joyride as well.

For Mass that night, we went to the later, six o’clock service.  It was a significantly smaller affair than the wedding we accidently crashed the week before.  Only about a dozen parishioners were in the church. That number included us four, but not the priest, usher, or the dog.

After church we started packing in earnest, while watching Peruvian versions of Spanish television shows they normally watch at home. In general, all Latin Programming has smaller costumes, and increased music compared to US programming.

To give the women some private jewelry review and tickle time, I read more Illuminatus to avoid being accused of noticing the TV people in the smaller costumes wiggling about to the increased music.

Anabelle also spent some time talking about Halloween costumes that July night, because she’s my daughter.

Exhaustion led to a confusing moment at the end of the day.  Amidst the myriad of holy images on the wall of Rosa’s old room was a picture of Christ emitting a rainbow.  While pointing to it in a not obvious enough way, I suppose, I was leaning on the books piled on the night table.

Therefore when I said, “What’s that one?”
Anabelle either didn’t hear the start of what I was doing, or was ignoring me, which is usually a good idea when I’m tired and confused.
She replied with, “It’s Spider-man.”

I answered with a phrase that is far more normal in our family than the rest of the universe:
“No, that’s not Spiderman, that’s Jesus.”

I then quickly followed up with a parental teaching moment:
“Don’t confuse those two, the comic book store people may not mind, but the people in church won’t react well if you respond to, ‘Peace be with you’ with

*Spidey web shooting pose* ‘THWIPP!!!!’"

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