Monday, June 25, 2018

Peru 2017 Day 10- Fountains Spew Boogaloo


July 11


I got additional Ladybug education this morning.  The boy in the Julie Newmar catsuit was an allied hero, not a foe. The flirtations were similar to Bruce and Selina, or maybe a gender swapped version of Spidey and Black Cat would be more accurate.  Ladybug used a Yo Yo, though it didn't have combat cartridges, nor did it shoot out of her nose, meaning it wasn’t stolen from anyone in my family. The bad guy attacked people with butterflies. All around, a weird show.

All of us, including Abuelita took the cab to Lima. We learned, like the busses, the cabs honk when running red lights. In addition they honk when any pedestrian in their field of vision looks poised to enter the road. 

Oddly the driver did not honk when the giant red tractor trailer almost turned us to paste. Instead he calmly bought a Beso De Moza (Mall-o-mar) from one of the many traffic wandering vendors.

After this I could calmly accept when he made the illegal left to avoid traffic, since only about a quarter of the cabs went that way. Down those side streets we could be entertained by the cigar box juggler who would take turns performing for the red light traffic, and then deftly dodge through it, busking, to reorient for the next set.

Before getting to the Plaza San Martin, the cab took us through a musical instrument store surrounded circle, the Plaza 2 de Mayo.  It was filled with traffic cops, who all made the guy outside the mall look like the pinnacle of job satisfaction.  If we go again, I'd prefer to hold de Mayo.

We exited onto a pedestrian street between the plazas, and weaved our way through the crowds and around the sights. 
Some fake statue guys were doing a cool pole sitting balancing trick.  Additionally, there was a blind singer lugging his own speaker as he milled through the throng.

Just at the edge of the Plaza de Armas was our appointment with the first freakishly large church of the day, La Merced. 
Abuelita, as is standard procedure for Latin grandmothers, had a long talk with Baby Doctor Jesus, which I think is also the name of a Nineties ska band.

We cut through the Plaza passing the normal (and I use the term loosely for domestic readers) historical sights of Peruvian Superman and an army of police in full riot gear.

In the Church of Saint Rose of Lima Santo Domingo only two of the three skulls normally on display were there. I guess the third was out doing a road show. 
Abuelita chatted with more saints while Anabelle and I compared notes about how “Spider Jesus” was very big down there.  They sold little blessing cards outside.  Since we were discussing him I offered Anabelle the “Spider Jesus” card.  She considered it saying, “Collect them all, trade with your friends!”  Clearly I am a good Catholic influence.

We also discussed, and were concerned with the possible reasoning behind the garbage men wearing hazmat suits and using remote controlled spider robots.  We gave the garbage cans a wide berth.

Back at the main plaza we found extra AK-47 armed guards and the entire center section closed off to everyone, except for the official presidential stray dog.  The president was meeting with one of the other candidates, heightening the security. 

We watched the famous Silly Walks changing of the guards, and after only four years I figured out that “the Paul Simon song” I kept hearing and the national “El Condor Pasa” were one and the same.

We found a little market down a side street and Anabelle picked up a Delirium style fish ring (to continue her recent Endless obsession) and some fake money to act as an aid in her ever present market and taxi games.

With all the extra security, the road on the side of the palace we had taken closed behind us.  We found a pile of restaurants in the area we were diverted to and chose, Beto' for menu’. Anabelle had TallarĂ­n Saltado and rated it not as good as Sara’s in Dover. The rest of us had more Chaufa chicken, which was more in a Chifa style.  That may be the other way around. Ask a Peruvian for help. 
Everyone got chicken foot soup as a first course. Anabelle didn't eat it because Concho’s was way better.  I didn't eat it because… CHICKEN FOOT SOUP!

On the way back out of the heavily guarded area, down the pedestrian street we passed guys holding piles of money.  Wheee!  Instead of using the money changers’ high rates, Rosa bought a Turrone to get change for the cab. 
The sales girl went next door for change, and then to one of the piles of money guys.  This allowed us to loiter on the pedestrian street long enough to see the fake statue balancing act people take themselves apart and reveal the trick. We also saw a brand new blind singer, and some other human statues, symbolic of the connection between American football and war…or something.

The cab ride back was filled with short cuts and close calls. The highlight was a woman who ran out into the middle of a multi lane street to get the cab in front of us, then change her mind and exit again, leaving the door open and blocking several lanes at once.  Woo.

Abuelita had enough excitement for one day. We settled her in at home and called the “good cab” company for the day’s next adventure.  They never showed up.

We tried the “slightly less good but at least they came” cab company, and booked a trip to the fountain place, Parque de la Reserva.

Thanks to the driver trying to cut around traffic and getting stuck, the trip took well over an hour. Anabelle and I were pretty numb to Peruvian driving madness at that point, and almost fell asleep. At least we did until she saw eight cars in a row run a red light, which popped us both awake.  The ride was enhanced by the radio station selected. I don't remember any of the real songs, because of the commercial jingle played incessantly between them.
Bwa-Da Ba –Pow, Bwa-Daa BA–Pow Bwa-Da Bap –Pow Ba-Ba-Ba-Baaa BA-Pow! followed us for the rest of the vacation, usually with Anabelle and me breaking into spontaneous performances.

The fountains were spectacular as expected. Also as expected, based on our completest type mind set, we viewed all of them in the order they were numbered on the map.

Half way between fountains two and three, our new family motto was heard echoing through the park: “Ooh! Churros!”

Large amounts of Anabelle and my standard of humor were reduced due to a renovation of the tunnel between sections that removed the “potty” part of the display.  My daughter helpfully maintained family humor levels by constantly making fun of my being ill on the previous visit and imitating me by making a grumpy face and saying “trudge trudge” over and over again.

What we believed was an “upside down house” display last time was right side up, leading us to wonder how it got in its former position.    

Anabelle spent a chunk of time running through her favorite, the Fuente El Laberinto.  That’s Spanish for “Circle of Horrendous Saturation.” 

Yo tengo agua, por favor.

The concentric laminar jets caught her off guard multiple times and she was well and truly soaked to drenching proportions by the time she was done.  They payed the couple of soles (about fifty cents) for the paperless bathroom to access the extra clothes Anabelle brought, and swap a few items between them.   They both managed to be mostly dressed for the rest of the evening’s adventure.

Anabelle got the local Salchi Papa (fried hot dog bits over French fries) but didn't like the mayonnaise. Rosa took that order and I got my daughter a clean one, before turning sights to my own food.

The first stand we passed had Empanadas, which thanks to being in South America, were always a good choice.  On the way retracing our path, of course:

“Ooh! Churros!”

We rechecked a few of the fountains lit up for the night while we waited for the new and improved laser show to start.  This time we picked a different rest room to pay admission to and scored big. The attendant gave us a large mound of toilet paper along with our ticket…

Which was not printed on toilet paper. You’d think that kind of natural synergy would be obvious.

Now packing, we discussed how locals would react to us walking up to the attendant and saying we wanted to buy “a round for the house.”

There was new music, film clips and laser effects in the show celebrating Lima’s anniversary. 
It was much more impressive when not viewed through a haze of dizziness, dehydration and food poisoning. (trudge trudge)

We spent a little time by the fully lit up Rainbow Fountain, but then realized that we were late for the pickup time we’d arranged with Milthon.   Dashing alongside Arequipa Avenue we arrived in front of good old Weiner University just in time to realize that the clock on the camera was wrong and we were insanely early.

A bus stop across the street provided us benches.  Anabelle started to feel the night’s chill in her post fountain condition, borrowed my coat, and was now wearing everyone’s clothes.

To pass the time, we entered into a deep discussion about names that were normal in Peru but not at home, as Anabelle tried to find appropriate ones for her various new toys and stuffed animals.  At one point she yelled, “Bonifacio!”  The cab driver passing slammed on his brakes and stared at us in shock and horror.  I think that was his name.

After a little more time of watching commuters smashed against bus windows, and frightening a few more locals, Milthon showed up.  It was a relaxing drive home, because he’s not insane.

At least it was relaxing until we got home and ran into the house quickly because someone was being arrested a few doors down.

We backed up all the pictures and notes, charged up our various devices and settled in.

Anabelle had a little energy left to play a few rounds of “crazy cab ride” with her fake money before fully settling in.  I read her the Atlantic City vacation post, a year behind real life as always.

Once they were asleep, I pulled a few more blog appropriate Disney pics and read a while before joining them in unconsciousness.




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