Haphazard Travels, Tribulations, and Triumphs
Well, I am back in Lima, sort of. I am in Miraflores, which is completely different than the rest of Peru. Very modern here. Street lights, skyscrapers, chain stores, few if any street vendors. Ironically, this made it a real pain in the ass to buy a bottle of water or find a non fast food place to eat. Says something, eh? Even more interesting is this is the first place I have seen McDs, KFC, Starbucks, Tony Romas, and... wait for it... Hooters Peru. Yes, America only exports the highlights of her culture. The flight this morning was swell. LAN once again impresses with its great service, high tech planes and comfort. less than a two hour flight, this leather seated flight had an inflight tv show on the fold down DVD screens. It was, as I should have guessed, the worlds most popular TV show, Just For Laughs. It was funny to see which gags transferred and which ones did not. The ones that cenred around suburban lifestyle did not even get a chuckle, but put a fake elephant trunk around an unsuspecting persons neck... It is also fitting with the anniversary of 9/11 coming up that I should have some comments to make on that front. First of all, Cusco airport security was incredibley lax. Like 1990s lax. Liquids, gels, all those things are fine, not even signs asking people not to bring them. No x-raying of shoes. Nothing beyond the metal detector and xray of luggage. In other news, I also learned that it is not allowed, possibly illegal to take pictures of foreign embassies, even your own. (cough) The Canadian embassy is literally arounf the block from where I am staying and I thought that it would be neat to grab a picture of it for Lee. I took one picture and the guard in the tower started whistling and pointing at me. Then two police officers across the street at the bank let me know that pictures were not allowed. Luckily it went no further than that. Funny thing is though, nobody did anything about the picture I had already taken. Also, our embassy security is not Canadian Armed forces or RCMP or anything. It is a Peruvian security firm! What the hell? Also, our embassy looks like a fleabag motel from the 1950s. And, AND, the security barrier for the building is woefully inadequate. Good grief. The other thing I noticed today was hair. Not hair where there wasn't hair before, but dyed hair. I had a convo in Cusco with a Canadian friend who remarked that she wished she had kept her dyed hair before coming here because no one has any. And today, for the first time, I saw a peruvian with dyed hair. Green actually. An older guy, who was selling some kind of self-help book and obviously used the hair as a trademark. Which made me realize that a large part of the reason Peru doesn't have dyed hair is that it also doesn't have punk. At all. It barely has heavy Metal (literally, I saw some posters for the Magazine ''Heavy Metal'' in a youth-orientated internet cafe.) but I have seen no indication of punk music or style down here. Even in the music stores, it's lacking. Yet, other AMerian music and fashion trends transfer readly to here... the amount of music by the Eagles, Counting Crows, etc, that I have heard testifies to that. So it is something about Punk and to a lesser extent metal that doesn't resonate, especially with the youth here. I can only speculate as to the causes but I think a higher degree of social conformity, especially around the church, as well as the discordance between ''latin'' music and those genres make it a hard transfer. Plus, while Rap, which is popular down here, benefits from the whole latino-underdog thing, Punk and metal tend to speak for dissaffected white guys. All in all, today was a pretty laid back day. Tomorrow I will see some more museums, then hang at the airport until my flight at 1 30 in the morning! Blegh! At least I have bought a new book and found another here at the hostal to read.