Monday, November 17, 2008

Peru: Part One

It is always easier to write about the fun and funny things that occur on trips, so let's start with that...

1. Ten women in a taxi. This is the post-taxi picture in which I am absent, being the photographer:

I really don't recommend you try this at home. For one thing, since even the Peruvian police force apparently disapprove (can you believe our return taxi was less than enthusiastic about taking us?), I'm sure it won't fly in the States...also, this 20 minute taxi ride cost about 4 dollars. Total. Gringo tax included. I can't remember when I've ever laughed that hard...and it was absolutely excellent to see the uniqueness of our group: one American, two Brazilians, two Peruvians, three Bolivians in casual dress and one Bolivian in "cholita" costume. (Confused? See #4)

2. The World's Greatest Mud City. Home of the ancient Moche civilization. Go ahead, Wikipedia it. I had to, because our poor guide, an older woman with a heavy French accent, was having a really hard time giving a intelligible tour. One moment, we had her speaking Spanish, the next English, and someone was always translating into Portuguese...
We visited the Huaco de la Luna y Sol, two temples with a city that sat between them and a sacred mountain. Sacred in this case means human sacrifices. More on this in another post.

Only one of the temples is open to the public, and from watching one of the workers meticulously clean the paintings with cotton balls and air puffs, I imagine it is going to be a long while before the other is open. It's quite impressive.

This "Peruvian dog" is hipoallergenic. Obviously. According to our guide, they were used as hot water bottles by the ancient Peruvians, because the poor animal's body temperature is rumored to hover around 104 degrees F. (I touched this one and it really was warm...felt like what I imagine an elephant's skin must be like.) The Peruvian government offered one to President-Elect Obama, because of his daughter's allergic reactions to dogs. Somehow, I think he's going to decline. Having a naked, mohawked dog probably won't help with that "anti-christ" image within certain
groups at all...

3. Inca Kola

The only country in the world where Coca-Cola didn't dominate (and couldn't) dominate the market? Peru. The top soft drink is called Inca Kola, a viciously yellow drink that tastes like frothy pink bubblegum. In a sad bow to globalization, the brand was bought out by the Coke company. I have a small bottle sitting on my shelf, to be opened during some Peruvian-themed party night so everyone can have a sip...

4. Cholitas

V-, one of the Bolivian staff, really stood out in her cholita fashion. The long, long braids swinging down her back, the ornate skirts, the tiny shoes, a big grin topped off with glittering gold-capped teeth. I couldn't get enough of V-'s excellent combos. She loved my wig. So we had a little runway show one night:

You would not BELIEVE how heavy this skirt is.

1 comment:

wren said...

Peru sounds lovely! So does Inca Kola and heavy cholita skirts. La!

Oh, and a couple of posts ago, you quoted Eat, Pray, Love. What did you think of that book? Let's talk!