Monday, February 22, 2016

Peru 2014 Day 16: July 8- Heading Home a Little Late

Peru 2014 Index


Anabelle and I slept until ten in the morning after being slow to conk out due to the previous day’s theatrics.  Rosa and Abuelita had gone out for the real last time together to cash a pension check.

The stress left some effect on Anabelle as she had two dreams featuring a Wolfman in a freaky hotel and the original Godzilla film.

That’s my girl!

The patio was soaked again by a nighttime rain storm.  This may explain the “bucket splash” noise I heard in the wee hours a previous day and also may explain why our clothes on the line out there in the patio never dried.

Rosa made it back in time to hear the random guy screaming “ROSA!” from somewhere else in the building to confirm we hadn’t been making it up all the other mornings we’d heard it and were fooled into thinking she had come home.

Anabelle’s final Peruvian dippin’ yellow breakfast blended into Rosa and Abuelita’s lunch time.


Abuelita cooked one of her daughter’s favorites, Lentejas. Anabelle began to suspect one of her parents put a call in to the airline to keep us there an extra day for food’s sake.

Deciding not to stink up the plane, we entered into a final Peruvian shower conga.

Meal timing was a bit confused already; triggering us all to decide a “last gasp” Bembos was worth it, especially since my stomach was stable enough to enjoy the benefits, which it wasn’t the day before.

Anabelle began to suspect both of her parents put a call in to the airline to keep us there an extra day for food’s sake.

While waiting for Rosa to bring our Fantabulous Fast Food yet again, Anabelle worked on her Peru journal.  She also used a stuffed poodle to perform a lengthy song and dance on my head.  The distance and time away from home was starting to lead to deliriousness.


We had our Bembos (YAY!)  and, being at home, were able to enjoy the Peruvian national fast food with Inca Kola, the Peruvian national soft drink. (YAY!)

Oddly, even though Bembos switching from serving Coke to Inka was part of the reason Coca Cola freaked out and bought them back in 1999, sometime predating our trip, Bembos switched to a Pepsi concession.

Weird.

Before chowing down, we took advantage of the empty street to get some photos in front of the house.  It was the first time I noticed the method of keeping pigeons off the edge of the wall to the open air patio:  inverted broken beer bottles.  I wish I’d known about that back in the condo.

The flight really confirmed this time, our trip’s ending loomed.  The true final packing and positioning of the suitcases was done, and Abuelita removed the massive bar used to lock the main door to the street.

Rosa and Anabelle used the bonus Abuelita time to watch a couple episode of Reba in Spanish with her while tickling each other.

A broken headband during packing allowed me a visit to Claire’s Peru on an emergency trip back.  Seeing the effect of the World Cup on normal life was staggering.  The game was on in every restaurant and store, and not only were the diners, shoppers and workers watching, but everyone in the street came to a standstill to peer into various doors and windows. Considering this was Germany’s 7-1 butt kicking of Brazil (even Anabelle was impressed by their scoring four goals in six minutes) I shudder to think what the city was like during a close game.

It may explain why absolutely no one answered the phone at THE HOSPITAL when Rosa called for information her Mom needed for paperwork.

On our way over to the store near the local Tottus, and the park Abuelita relaxes in, we saw more evidence of the care of the “homeless” dogs.  A mother with a litter of puppies that looked hours old was outside a store.  The owners created a makeshift shelter around a sidewalk tree out of cardboard boxes.  Food was placed for the mom, and several large warning signs on other pieces of cardboard were set up to protect them.

We also saw evidence of why the dogs weren’t inside, even when cared for.  Rosa was looking for glue for Abuelita. We peeked at a couple stores on the edges of the pedestrian market.  Based on the piles of wares stacked and festooned about the locations, the businesses had no “back” or storerooms of any kind.  The entire stock was out in the open.  There simply wasn’t space available to let the dogs in.

On our return, with replacement headbands and a couple extra family and friend kids’ souvenirs in hand, it was Rosa’s turn to panic.  The Peruvian money she’d specifically put aside for the airport cab trip was missing.  Luckily, while checking everything else we needed, she discovered it safely put aside in her passport…for just such an occasion.

During the last wait, Anabelle and I cleared level 120 of Jetpack Joyride, meaning we’d finished the game seven times since arriving in Peru.

Have I mentioned that it was addictive?

Conchito arrived to sit with Abuelita for our departure…again.

The three of us snuck around the house leaving little notes for Abuelita everywhere.  My guess is she may still be finding them.  Since Anabelle hid “Clammy” with one of them, we made sure she would find that one quickly. While stashing these, Combate was on the television, it looked kind of like “Peruvian Ninja Warrior,”
Or probably, “Peruvian Ninja Warrior with Smaller Costumes and an Increase in Music.”

Rosa’s Up the Lake shoes barely survived the trip.  More holes than soles, we finished another adventure with her and Anabelle’s footwear in the garbage can.

The final cab ride couldn’t happen without some drama.  They promised us a large or “Grande” car to get all of our stuff to the airport.  Sadly we forgot our Peruvian to English Automotive dictionary.  Grande apparently meant marginally less Pequeño than the rest of the vehicles.

The cab also had some issues with the emergency brake, which I noticed while pushing the vehicle down the street as I tried shoving our luggage into its hatchback.

As we watched a guy run across six lanes of traffic in two directions to get into the combi he waved down, I realized something important about the horrifying driving conditions.  In over two weeks of being terrified in the back of cabs, and mashed onto buses like clown filled sardines, I did not see a single accident on any of the roads.  (Or hear of one when my eyes were closed.)

As insane as their traffic system is, it seems to work for them.

A large “Kraps” billboard gave us a quick giggle on what would otherwise be a completely sad ride.

The entire country was devastated by Brazil’s loss, and our driver commiserated with every security person and baggage handler he passed.  I believe we could have driven into the secure section of the airport in a fully armed and operational Self Propelled Howitzer if only we had yelled, “Go Argentina!” at the check point.

All of those people we passed also complimented Anabelle on her excellent Spanish, since she had taken point on talking to everyone for me.  My comprehension was always light years ahead of my speaking ability.

We looked for the line we were supposed to wait on while ducking the drug sniffing dog to protect the Bembos Rosa was planning on having for dinner…little did we know that was foreshadowing.


Arriving extra early to make sure everything was set didn’t help.  We weren’t allowed to check in until three hours before takeoff.  Actually we weren’t allowed to check in until much closer than that because by the time they finished farting around with the rope positions for the lines, letting in anyone remotely handicapped, and changing their mind about the entrance spot, considerable time had passed.

We also learned anyone at the airport the night before on our cancelled flight was either put on other airlines’ planes, or shuttled to hotels.   This is information neither our carrier, nor the airport gave over the phone.  There was a whole second plane to take those of us who remained back home, meaning the airline didn’t “just decide not to fly” despite what the helpful boobs at the flight insurance place claimed.

At least we got some extra flier miles and a free upgrade to economy plus. The seats didn’t recline, but the extra leg room after squeezing on so many buses was much appreciated.  In hindsight, I should have shot for First Class.

On our way to the gate we passed our last Claro stand, and our last “Claro Girl” standing outside the stand trying to entice people (i.e. Men) to buy phones.  I think they imported them all from more cosmetic enhancement obsessed South American nations.

We also passed a souvenir stand with prices triple those of the Inka Market (without stopping) and a Dunkin Donuts stand (with stopping). We accidentally and unintentionally bought a half dozen donuts, eating two each for dinner.  Leave us alone, we’re finishing vacation.

Passing several normal looking gates, we were directed down a flight of steps to a room with no gangway entrance.  We lined up by number, which in normal circumstances dictates order of entry to the plane.

However, we were lead out onto a bus with no seats, and stuffed in. I worried a bit about driving through the Amazon Rainforest and Mexican Deserts in this vehicle, but it only served to bring us to the airplane.  Getting on and off the bus completely destroyed the boarding by number system, but at least there was no clown this time.

We borrowed Auntie Kim’s gifting the flight crew with chocolate idea again.  I guess with a plane full of cranky delayed travelers, they were thrilled to have anyone treat them nicely. Instead of the usual flight wings pin like she got on the trip down, they gave Anabelle the little travel kit bag that comes complimentary in first class.


Possibly from the stress and excitement of the changed flight (or maybe it was the donuts) none of us slept much on the overnight trip.  Around meal time (a final semi authentic Peruvain dish, Lomo Saltado) Anabelle asked me to join in a little Disney Figure Star Wars Superheroes with her on the tray table.  After a short bit, she started to get too delirious from exhaustion to deal with that mixed world. 
We played some musical chairs at one point when Anabelle wanted to lie down. Rosa and I moved to the empty exit row behind us while our daughter camped out briefly on our seats.


I spent most of the trip reading Schrödinger’s Cat to finish the Wilsonian mental damage I started with Illuminatus.  Rosa alternated between nodding off, watching some TV shows, reading, and peeking at my screen where I put the latest Hobbit and Captain America Movies to have something interesting in the background.

We reunited with two and a half hours left in the flight.  Anabelle watched Peabody and Sherman which ended up far more amusing than either of us initially expected.  I had finally reached the point of total collapse, allowing the watching of a chair back inflight movie without getting dizzy or nauseous.  GI Joe: Retaliation was far more awesome than I initially expected.

We landed and got nailed before even reaching customs by a Bembos sniffing beagle.

OK, maybe that isn’t exactly what happened. 

The dog checking through the baggage area smelled the leftover salad from the plane in Rosa’s bag.  This caused us to be pulled over to the full “agriculture inspection” line where they opened our bags, confiscated the salad, and Rosa’s left over burger which she ended up not eating on the plane.

Sadly, the secret of high quality fast food was something that could not be allowed to cross our borders for fear of it leading to the financial collapse of McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s.

Oddly they had no problem with the several packets of “Kraps!” and other snacks.

We found my brother-in-law Dave, or maybe he found us, and we piled zombie like into the car to be taken home.

There was muttering of some thanks, showering off any plane residue that remained, and collapsing at random places around our home into deep comas.

Oozing back to the land of the living, but with no energy to start conducting our normal lives, we returned to our Godzilla viewing with Godzilla1985.  Sometimes it helps to be brain dead to enjoy those films.

Somehow, through the powers of youth, Anabelle had the energy to attend her summer dance class that evening.  Rosa and I did a quick, holdover shopping run while she was there.  Once finished, we ate at the Diner to avoid burning down our home if we tried to cook anything in the state we were in.


Sleep came quickly as we tried to psyche ourselves up for a return to New Jerseyness the following day.

Peru 2014 Index

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