Post five: What can I say?
I’m currently hiding out on the back of an Autobus Ormeno destined for La Paz, praying and hoping that no “gentes peligirosos” will hop on board. The bus ride from Lima to La Paz is dangerous in legendary proportions, but we know if this blog gets posted then the laptop must have made it to Bolivia along with me.
Lima has been a whirlwind of fabulousity and excitement. Starting from around 4 am on Monday, when a 4.3 magnitude earthquake roused me from my slumber and saw me jetting in my unders to the closest door frame. After seemingly 25 seconds of steady shaking, I explained to the European women that were lying around me, that “girls, this is an earthquake… do you think we should go stand in the street?”. After tossing around the idea of a standing in the streets of Peru at night while wearing nothing but our undergarments, we made an overwhelming and joint decision to take our chances and just go back to sleep. Another group decision well led, how’s that for “Leadership Skills”?
Fast forward 10 hours, I managed to navigate my way over to la Clinica Arroyo Goldstein in San Isidro, in order to meet with Dr. Giuliana Arroyo-Goldstein (“Julianna”). After waiting for quite some time in the poshist of waiting rooms, I was ushered to the back and lead into her office. ~~First impression, smashing beauty. ~~Upon further conversation, witty charm and fascinating intellect. I was beginning to think this Julianna and I might be quite fast friends, when she asked me if I would like to join her at a black tie event for the grand opening of her sister’s third med spa (Kalieska Arroyo Med Spa). Apparently these girls come from a long line of prestigious Peruvian doctors. We agree that it is a brilliant idea for me to join along and then she proceeds to work her magic on me, by way of a little mesotherapy (nothing major).
Now this Julianna is generous, very generous. Of course I had no clothes for a black tie event that night, but that would not be a problem because she decided she would like to take me to her mansion in Oro Reino and dress me up in her finest attire. The Mira Flores and San Isidro district of Peru are very similar to southern California mixed with a bit of Ipanema, however the neighborhood of Doc Julianna is a gated-community very similar to a Peruvian Coto De Caza. Her house is exquisite, over-looking all of Lima from the mountain-top and fully equipped with maid staff and chauffeurs. I spent a number of hours relaxing there and enjoying the chance to chat with her and her daughter, both of whom speak perfect English. It comes to find out that Julianna and I are kindred spirits, particularly in our knack for traveling the world and getting caught up in whirlwinds of romance and intrigue.
The party starts at 8 pm and it’s very hard to look good in a picture when standing next to my new friend. I do my best as she hastens me through the crowd. EVERYONE who was anyone in Peru must have been there. The women were gorgeous and the men were rich and powerful. After speaking to the Egyptian ambassador for a while about the plight and status of the Egyptian government (essentially it doesn’t really exist at this time, but they’re working on it), I move on to the gent to his left. This was a charming little man named “Jorge”, clearly of Indian decent. He spoke little English, but had a translator and was a Peruvian Congressman, or so says the Egyptian ambassador with whom he fancied to converse. I spoke with Jorge about the sad state of affairs with the mining corporations operating in Peru, and how it is tragic that they are not practicing proper waste management and, consequential, are poisoning the Peruvian people. Apparently the government is trying to regulate this industry, but the mining companies have wielded international power, and the Peruvian president feels almost that his hands are tied in not being able to force them to pay for proper waste treatment. The government of Peru cannot afford to pay, therefore there appears to be a huge impasse which must be surmounted.
Standing near-by to the Jorge was a beautiful, elegant blond dressed in white, staring at me with blue eyes of devastating hue. Apparently she was Turkish-born, and married to the Turkish Ambassador there, but she looked very much like a Brit to me. I met “Victor”, the most acclaimed artist of Peru at this present time. I met “Cesar”, who is head of the government staff security division and is writing a book. He was a tall and good-looking older gent, and apparently part of his upcoming book will be dedicated to me, picture and all. His colleague “Gustavo” was also there, a more mild mannered guy, but very generous nonetheless. He has offered to take me the building where the president works on a regular basis. This will all happen when I return to Lima. The event photographer was somehow enamored in such a way that he would like to offer me a free professional studio session upon my return. I just need to try to work that gig out so that if I end up on ads in Peru, that I receive some compensation for my modeling services. His gesture was very thoughtful.
I could go on and on. An Angelina Jolie exact look alike was there, and 2 blonds that looked like the cousins of Cameron Diaz. That night I was told I look like Cameron Diaz, Kristen Duntz and Nicole Kidman. Those are the ones I got when I was 22, so I felt honored that the 10 years that have passed have not aged me in such a way that I am no longer recognizable the same. I, however, don’t feel that I look as good as any one of those ladies. Lastly, an Irish looking Peruvian-born plastic surgeon named ~I forget, but I have his card~ would like to take me on a tour of Lima’s chicest, upon my return…. Yet, I question whether it gets any chicer than this. By the time I got to sleep it was 4 am and I had to leave for the bus station at 8 am. When I was done pressing snooze, it was 5” after 8 am and I had nothing packed. The bus left at 9, but somehow I found the time to pay my hostel-keep and taxi to the station. I believe that God may be on my side.
GOOD EATS AND OTHER DODGY HAUNTS
Haven’t eaten anything major to speak of, and my lodging experience in Peru will be forever remembered by that earthquake. I have made it to Loki Hostal in Bolivia. It is def hostal shwank, as hostals go. I am looking forward to 6 days in Bolivia.
WHERE’S THE DRIVER?!?
I’ve just spent 32 hours on a bus to Bolivia. I haven’t showered for 3 days. The taxi to my hostel from the bus station cost 15 Bolivianos (~$2)
EVERY SOL SAVED IS A SOL EARNED
7 Boliviano = 1 USD
THE SWEET SPOT
The hot shower of which I am about to enjoy.
An earthquake followed by a celeb-like royal treatment in a foreign land was all quite unexpected. Traveling is like living a circus-life.
ESPIRITU LIBRE PARA LA VIDA
Realized some things on the bus over here, but its all too much to mention.
Should I take a bus for 2 days to Uruguay, or head to Cuzco after this?