Sushu's Travel Journal

April 7, 2012

In Peru!

Filed under: Latin America — Tags: , — admin @ 1:16 pm

All right! We made it to Trujillo! Jono is currently reading aloud from 1493 about samurai guarding the silver caravans in Mexico and Spanish barbers in Mexico City complaining about Chinese barbers working harder and taking their jobs.

Unfortunately, we woke up too late in Lima this morning, and so couldn’t do more than admire the parrots and tortoises in the rooftop area of the hostal where we were staying, before hopping on a taxi to theairport and then on a plane to Trujillo. This is a pity because I kinda wanted to see the national museum where I hear there is a really good exhibit about the internal conflict.

Thus far various aspects of Peru has reminded me of China— the many small hole in the wall shops, the cavalier yet practical attitude toward most municipal laws, even the mixture of large fancy ads and government propaganda on the walls. There is also the variance in bathroom quality, and the sense of a burgeoning economy that is leaving quite a signifant segment of its population in the dust. There would be satellite dishes peeking out of run-down buildings and small stores ablaze with the newest gadgetry.

There have been some interesting differences. For example, the parks that I have seen thus far appear to be square city blocks that are fenced off, paved with paths and dotted with swings and see saws, and forced to be green through haphasardly cultivated topiary.

Or, for example, the buildings. Wherever we go, we see buildings with the second or third floor incomplete– only two brick walls would be up, or maybe the beams are exposed, or maybe there is a makeshift roof and no windows. When I asked the taxi driver today, he said that people would build with whatever surplus money they had, and building it piecemeal takes about 3 to 4 years to finish a floor. Very rarely would individuals have the capital to build a 3 or 4 story building in one go.

I guess in Chinese cities it would usually be the government or corporations that build the residential communities. It would similarly be the city that provides the municipal transit system. Here, on the other hand, privately run minibuses stop wherever to pick up passengers all over the city, in lieu of an official transit system. People also share taxis, so that also serves as a private transit system. I’ve seen students take combi (combination) taxis to school.

Anyway, tomorrow we will go on a tour of Chan Chan and Huaca del Sol. Tomorrow is also Domingo de la Resurrecion, but people seem to be pretty casual about it.

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