Monday, July 16, 2018

Peru 2017 Day 13- Corn Man Woo! Boogaloo

July 14


My writing the night before turned into more than “a bit” and I was still zonked out while Anabelle took in more Miraculous Ladybug and Rosa brought her Mom to the bank.

As it was “Peru shirt day” we snapped a bunch of pictures around the house.  After soundly trouncing me (yet again) in Doctor Whuno, Anabelle accompanied Rosa to the laundromat.  On the way, a woman called out Rosa’s name, and my daughter’s first thought was a psychopath had found them.  (I assume this is my fault.)

It wasn’t. (A psychopath that is, it probably was my fault.) Instead it was someone Rosa went to school with who currently lived in Canada, because the world is small and life is weird.  They also stopped for some Yukitas.

That’s Peruvian street zeppoles for my Italian family playing at home.

For lunch we went to yet another of Abuelita’s friend’s restaurants: Catalina's.   This friend had come to visit before I arrived, but Rosa was out at Plaza Vea on one of several Bembos runs.

On our way we passed the pink and black SBA building where the local Futbol (soccer) team met.  I was trying to figure out a Spanish acronym, turns out it stood for “Sport Boys Association.”  The Pink Panther graffiti was their mascot.  I assume they do not use assault rifles on the field, but you never know. They take their Futbol pretty seriously down there.

We also passed a building two doors down with the entire interior collapsed and several stone buildings with wooden towers on them.  I’m waiting for someone to realize Assassins Creed Peru is a no brainer.

We all menu’ed trying openers like Causa Chicken Salad and Ceviche.  They went next door to get us the Coke Zero that was on their menu for Anabelle and the rest of us shared a giant Inca Kola bottle Abuelita’s friend gave us.  Woo!

Rosa and her Mom got Chaufa again. In an attempt to further confuse me she said it was much less like the Chifa version than others we had, yet it was much more like the Chinese food I was used to at home.

Anabelle had TallarĂ­n Saltado, liked the beef better than the chicken she’d previously tried, but still preferred “Sara’s” at home.  I had Arroz con Seafood. (I’m paraphrasing.) I think it was good, but I was a little too focused on avoiding snails to remember the taste of the experience.

It was kind of a light grey day, or as Peruvian winter weathermen call it, “Sunny."  We walked over to sight see at Plaza Grau a bit before heading home.

We packed up our queen air mattress because we knew Rosa had bought one there. However, we had forgotten that we exchanged the big one we bought for a twin when we realized we only needed the plug for our queen.  Rosa took that one, and I used my “sleep anywhere” superpower to spend my nights unconscious and mashing the green cushion thing again.

While we fiddled with mattresses, Anabelle played a couple of Uno hands against a stuffed owl.  Sadly, the owl did better against her than I usually did.

For our trip to Miraflores, Rosa called the really good cab company.  After three quarters of an hour with no one showing up, she called the less good but actually appearing 555 cab company and they came to take us.

It was a big step up in vehicular transportation for us.  The car not only had a digital dash and reverse cam, it had power locks and windows. These were all things we hadn’t seen since leaving the States.

A new ocean side highway had opened, and we had a fast and scenic trip along the Pacific to Miraflores, a.k.a. the snooty Lima neighborhood.

We exited near Parque Kennedy, where we started our last trip and were impressed with how quickly they had installed a complete subway system.  That is, until we figured out the awning over stairs going below the sidewalk next to the pay kiosk was the entrance to new underground parking.

This wasn’t another “I have water please,” moment; Rosa and Anabelle were confused as well.

Having solved the mystery, we passed through the famous “Cat Park” marveling at how completely they replaced one furred predator with another.

It was obvious to Anabelle and I how upper class this section was, since it was the only place in Peru we saw my wife dutifully follow the crosswalks and signals.

In one of the many newsstands, I saw a couple of extremely well crafted die cast Star Trek ships, (A Klingon D-7 and a Jem’Hadar fighter, for the geekly inclined) packaged with little magazines.  A few blocks further, and a bit down from the corner, I spotted more. Wandering over I saw the two previous ones, plus a Klingon Bird of Prey and an Enterprise.   I'm not sure which version of the most famous ship it was, because while I was noticing the Enterprise I was also noticing the only Spanish speaking members of our group had crossed the street and continued on.

Muttering a hurried, “Yo tengo agua, por favor,” to the vendor I ran to catch up.

Our family motto of “Ooh, churros!” rang out as we passed a bakery.  They were filled and quite delicious.  About a block later we passed Manolo, a place famous for churros.  We mentally marked its location for the trip back. Since I already had mentally marked the Star Trek ship location, it made it easier to link the two.

With no intent to buy anything, being drawn into bookstores was a purely a genetic response.  We spent a much longer time in an Inca store, which had souvenirs far cheaper than the market.  So much for haggling.

Along with gifts and such, Anabelle continued her tradition of adding to her Cholita collection. The other tradition she followed was naming it Bonifacia, to no one’s surprise. My suggestion of naming it “Uno” was refused.

We continued down the street until we reached the ocean, the location of the cliff side Larco Mar Mall.  It’s pretty much a carbon copy of stateside Snooty Malls, but open air, with an ocean view and parasailers overhead. 
Also overhead were a large number of vultures. Whether there was a cause and effect in place with the parasailers, I'm not sure.

After taking some pictures overlooking the awesome view the three of us ventured through the multiple levels of the mall. There was a handmade ice pop stand.   The labels were a little confusing as there was a section that said “vegetarian.”  Since “London Broil” and “Elk Sausage” were not flavors in the other sections, I was puzzled by the need for that specification.  The vegetarian ones went a little overboard, featuring celery, cucumber and basil ice pops.

Bleah.

We stuck with blueberry and a strawberry Pink Panther Paw, and they worked fine.

Down in a hidey hole at an unconnected side of the lower level, we found what I first thought was a toy store.  It was actually a baby store, which Rosa picked up immediately from the cribs and car seats in the front window. I was distracted by the back wall of LEGOs, hence my confusion.

As usual, LEGOs were way more expensive than at home, but contrarily unusual, there were open mini-figures to purchase without a markup.  I’ve never seen that in any country.  Not only that, but there was a sign proclaiming a two for one sale.

My eyes were drawn to one and I pointed him out, “Hey! Corn Man!”

It was a guy in a full body corn on the cob costume, screaming. 
OK, he had a big mustache that looked like an open mouth from afar, but I still think it’s funnier if he’s screaming.

The two for one was only on the horror figure side of the display (which oddly, did not include Corn Man)
, and Anabelle picked out a Spider themed Vampire lady, and a cat lady that was basically the West Coast Avengers alum, Tigra.  She also bought a mystery one form the other side, secretly hoping for Corn Man.
 The Chef she got made her very happy, based on the number of restaurants in her LEGO village, and her Food Network addiction.

Figures in hand, we ascended back to the food court and restaurant level. Anabelle had been determined to have KFC at one point on the trip in a show of patriotism.  We hovered around it for a bit, while Rosa and I determined what we would eat.

Patriotism or no, I wasn’t squandering the amazing culinary opportunities of Peru.  While hovering, I noticed the nearby Bembos had removed the veggie burger from the menu in the intervening years. It looks like my gastrointestinal disaster was a prank on their part.   

The two of us eventually convinced Anabelle to side with us on the Fantastic Food versus Country Loyalty Debate.  The fact that Tanta Quechua had the menu out front in two languages helped.

As the place started as a bakery, the bread served while we ordered convinced us all of the wisdom of our decision.  The ocean view seats helped confirm that.

Rosa had perfectly cooked Anticuchos, (beef heart on a stick!) and I had a phenomenal Mahi Mahi over shrimp, rice and broccoli sprouts. 
She drank, and raved about the Chicha, (purple corn based drink that tastes much better than the idea sounds) and I joined her after a taste. 

Our happy to have refused KFC daughter had a Pot’o’Lasagna that topped every Italian restaurant she’d ever been to.

Anabelle’s recently acquired warm beverage addiction led to what was later referred to as “the tea fiasco.”

At first she was thrilled to be brought her own little stone tea pot.  The thrill sank quickly once she tried it and discovered the strong taste of lemon.

At some point I should mention, lemon tea was on the menu, and not ordered.

Rosa confirmed the lemon-ness, and called the waiter over. He was excessively puzzled as he specifically put the non-lemon order in, and checked the tea bags himself.

Then he poured himself a little, his face dropped and said, “I’ll be right back.”
Except of course he said it in Spanish, which is:
“Yo tengo agua, por favor.”

He returned, apologized, said the folks in the kitchen get a little excited sometimes, and added lemon to the pot, and presented Anabelle with a new un-lemon stone teapot.

She liked it as much as the food, and the two and a half cups, coupled with her being used to decaffeinated tea at home led to multiple outbursts of “Corn Man!” during dinner.

Some of that was probably definitely my fault too.

We went back to the hidey hole, picked up Corn Man (WOO!)
and she also bought two ghosts from the horror side that I thought she was originally going to pick, but she said she didn’t like.

Toy figure shopping in our family is always complicated.

The whole time she was in there, I was cracking up at the concept of the Sasquatch with a Camera mini figure.  Rosa, enabler that she is, reminded me we weren’t coming back. Unsurprisingly, I walked back in after the Corn Man purchase
(as my family was embarrassed to walk in a third time) and picked him and a Gargoyle up to add to the village from the two for one side.

We went back up, took a couple of pictures on the roof at night and started walking back to Kennedy Park.

Luckily, someone had purchased the Enterprise I had seen while we were at the mall. I say luckily as research when I returned home revealed they were part of the Peruvian set of the Eaglemoss collection.  Their own website showed thirty beautifully detailed, die cast star ships in the collection.  While excessive, the number wasn’t insane…yet.  A little more digging revealed their site only showed the tip of the iceberg. Not counting special releases, sets and oversize offerings, the group of (all amazingly differentiable) ships in the line was well over a hundred and fifty.

On the positive side, my set of a couple dozen little Hot Wheels Star Wars ships doesn’t seem nearly as nuts now.

On the negative side, my internet searches means every single website that has ads taunted me endlessly with-
“Hey Jeeeeeeeeff… look at these awesome Star Trek shiiiiiiiips…they’re sooooooooooo shiiiiiiiiiiny!!!!!”

On the even more negative side, Eaglemoss more recently started a new figure line based on Aliens and Predator (which are absolutely gorgeous) with bonus Spaceships from those franchises in the Premium Subscription (which are wicked awesome), and the ads are taunting me with them as well. 

I doubt I’ll ever own them, because if I ever get a financial windfall that would allow me to consider dropping over a grand and a half on this franchise…I’m getting a custom, production quality Predator costume.

Please help me.

Reaching Manolo (Ooh! Churros!) we had our second sampling of the day.  I’d have wondered if being full from dinner dulled the taste of them to make us not believe they were truly worthy of famousness.

However, a couple blocks later, we passed the place we stopped in the morning and, “Ooh! Churros!”  They were just as good as earlier. 

Honestly, I'm starting to think my family has some sort of choux and brown sugar triggered Alzheimer’s.

Back at the Cat Park, Anabelle pet a friendly and receptive one while Rosa called the 555 cab again.  We crossed the street to a Mia Pharma to wait for the pickup.  Anabelle found another cat there that was slightly less receptive.  All of the park residents are healthy and friendly to humans, but this one had a clear expression of “Do not fuzzle my feral hunterness” while being pet.

The cab came speedily and before we knew it we were stuck in traffic on the ocean road.  Occasionally he drove over on the side, but nothing overly crazy.

Fortunately, He and Rosa both knew the area and the layout of the new thoroughfare.  Following the direct route home would have passed through a zone of “Muy Peligroso.” He exited a little sooner, when the highway side campfires were fairly sparse and only needed to pass through a moderately sketchy section.

Kids were playing soccer in the street, much like kids at home play baseball or football.

Unlike home, there was no cry of “Car” and “Game On” to mark the pause required by our passage. Instead, they continued playing uninterrupted, with one of them executing a deft pass between our moving tires to his team mate.

Before passing out from the long and event filled day, we downloaded the pictures, and played with Corn Man and friends.


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