Friday, June 10, 2011

Touring the Neighborhood

My housemates have been discussing putting together a day trip to Pachacamac, which is a local archaeological site, for this Saturday. Picture me dancing in happiness at the thought of seeing my first archaeological site only 4 days into the trip. Perhaps as a result of my excitement, I decided to make it the subject of my first article because I could both satisfy my research requirement and read up on the site before our visit. I haven't gotten that far in my research yet, but from what I've read so far, Pachacamac seems like a pretty interesting site. When I finish the page tomorrow, I'll post the link (for those nerds who care to read it).

In the afternoon we went to play basketball again. Our new elderly Peruvian friend, who Julio has dubbed "Grandpa" for lack of knowing his real name, met up with us again. He likes to sit and watch us play ball, as he rambles on in Quechua, despite us telling him again and again that we don't understand it well. Having embarrassed myself on the court again, I opted to sit out for the second game, in which Julio, Stu, and Ania played against three local children (who gave them quite a run for their money). While on the sidelines with me, Grandpa told a prolonged story in which he explained that he had two jobs; playing guitar/singing around Lima, and selling food from a pushcart. He then launched into a song in Spanish and sang to me for a good few minutes. It was perhaps the cutest thing I've ever experienced. 

In the afternoon, misfortune served as an unexpected treat. Stu and Ania's camera has been broken for a week now, and they decided they needed to get it looked at today. The four of us took a cab ride into the city to check out an electronics vendor that claimed he may be able to solve their problem. After dropping off the camera, Julio showed us around the neighborhood, which included a military academy, some beautiful old houses, the national anthropology museum (I made a mental note to go back there soon), and a pisco (grape brandy) factory. 

Eventually we returned to the house, where we ate dinner and decided what we would do for the evening. It was agreed that more Pisco sours would be made. Having tried this drink for the second time now, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to get used to the feeling of the pisco burning the back of my throat as it goes down. It's too bad because otherwise it's actually really delicious.

In the meantime, we played a bunch of Wii games and then started showing each other ridiculous YouTube videos. I was officially the MVP of the night - I introduced my housemates to both Bedroom Intruder and Double Rainbow, the latter they wouldn't stop quoting for the entire night. PS: if you haven't seen either of those, I suggest you go to YouTube right now and watch them. You won't be the same.

After all the drinking and the laughing, we took a midnight trek a few blocks over to the "Hamburger Man". At the house, we identify street vendors not by their name, but by the item they are selling and their sex. (In addition to Hamburger Man, I've met the Pastry Lady and the Churro Woman). Even though Julio had described the hamburgers long before I actually laid eyes on one, I wasn't quite prepared for what I was about to experience. 

Ordering carne (beef), pollo (chicken), or chorizo (spicy sausage), you get a delicious meat patty on a bun. As the food is passed down the line of servers, they add lettuce, french fries (yes, IN the sandwich) and then top it with mayo, mustard, spicy relish, and ketchup. The result is a rather drippy but delicious burger-salad-fries concoction. 
Hamburguesa de pollo
And at about $0.70 US each, it's a deal none of us could pass up. As we walked down the deserted streets back to the house, munching on our burgers, Julio looked deeply at his food and said in a mystical voice, "what does it mean?" which sent us all into a fit of giggles.

And seriously, if you don't get that reference by now, you haven't watched Double Rainbow yet. I wasn't kidding about that. Do it! NOW.

Ciao from Lima at 2:30 AM.

(PS: some pictures of the house are up!)

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