Friday, November 16, 2007

No Reservations

What luck! I made it back to Lima yesterday, picked up some photos, dropped off three more rolls, and this morning... upon what do my eyes gaze? The photo shop - CLOSED - shut down for some sort of infraction! This does not sit well with me. Luckily, and I say "luckily" with my fingers crossed, the sign reads that it will be closed only through Sunday. Yeah, yeah, I know; digital, right? Even the little kids in Pisco looked at me strangely because when I took their picture and they ran up to me, there was no instant image displayed on the back of my camera... "¡Profe, que pasa?" Don´t want to hear it. Well, finally my hands have healed from "el fuego rocoto." Popular opinion had it that lime juice and sugar are the only remedy for my ill. The pharmacist sold me some aloe that didn't work. My brilliant mom, however, had previously sent me an email on the many benefits of bananas, so I rubbed the inside of a banana peel on my hands; that provided some relief. Tonight I have begun preparations for Lima Thanksgiving Numero Dos. And, yes, we do have pumpkin. Earlier today, I sought out a cebicheria successfully. I had a ceviche with black conch and white fish... not bad. Well, toward the end of my meal, three local girls came in and sat two tables away. They ordered a tall cerveza to share, then began giggling and flirting. One made the old "salud!" (toast) gesture, so I reciprocated with my nearly empty glass of pisco sour. Now I realize that an international man of mystery like myself is quite interesting to the average Peruana, but they kept gesturing for me to join them. Luckily, I looked up in my international guide to etiquette what is appropriate in such a situation, and I concluded that it is normally polite for the person doing the urging to come up to the urgee to ask if the latter would care to join the former. After a bit of cross-referencing, I concluded that it would be rude of me to resist such obvious displays of comehitherness so as to help the urgers to save face. Well they were drunk. One way to discern this is the non-stop toasting and clinking of the glasses. There are other ways to tell, but this was enough evidence. You know, it´s difficult enough for me to understand sober people speaking Spanish to me... Anyways, I almost finished what was left of my pisco sour after about the sixteenth "salud!" when the most forward of the three offered to pour me a glass of beer. I politely refused, due to my obligation to prepare said Thanksgiving meal extravaganza and, oh yeah, it was only three o´clock and these girls were trashed. I indicated that I still had a sip left of my tasty beverage. I didn't consult the manual, but I do believe I was justified in politely walking away when the girl poured my drink on the table so she could fill it with beer. I've seen this situation before in my travels; it´s called "Let´s get the rich American to buy us lots of drinks," and I wasn't playing. Kind of like going back to the reservation, I´m told. Next thing you know you are stranded outside of a club with no money, no map, and no way home in the rain sleeping sitting up at a gas station until the first bus at 6 AM. (Sorry, Spain flashback.)

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