Lima

Lima:  It’s not Paris.

reflections along the Lima shore.  The sky is monochrome grey.

reflections along the Lima shore. The sky is monochrome grey.

Visually, it’s not all that interesting.  Most homes in the city core are behind 8-12′ walls with either razor wire or an electric fence above that, extending their bunker protection a full 15 feet in the air.   Oddly though, it feels like a reasonably safe city.  I’m sure that’s partly due to the fact that there are police and security guards most everywhere.   But even walking around at night, it seems very safe, and that’s coming from a cautiously paranoid traveler.

Offering pork on a fork to passing cars... on a dusty road... yea, i'll eat that...

Offering pork on a fork to passing cars... on a dusty road... yea, i'll eat that...

Woman at Christian Revival

Woman at Christian Revival

An open are dance event that went on day and night all weekend.

An open air dance event that went on day and night all weekend.

Actually the most notable difference between Lima and other cities I’ve visited is the driving style.  This makes Rome look like Seattle.  I mean this literally:  if you cross the street, plan on being run over.  There are no cross walks, no little green lighted men telling you it’s OK to cross, and those annoying pedestrian beeps?  Not a chance.

The only way to get across a street is to wait for a traffic jam.  Or, what mostly happens is you wait until a mass of people congregate  at an intersection, and somehow they communicate their intent silently like an army of ants, and then they move en-mass as a human phalanx, weaving a path through the traffic to the other side.

"taxis" taking mountain bikes up to a competition

"taxis" taking mountain bikes up to a competition

Waiting outside the arena for the Christian Revival to start

Waiting outside the arena for the Christian Revival to start

Oh, and it’s polluted.  Lima is squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes.  This results is air that’s a soupy mix of fog, haze, soot, and smog.  9 million people, and about 5 million cars, most of which are taxi’s and buses all running on diesel.  I’ve been here three days and still haven’t seen the sun.  Thought, a few miles inland and the sun is supposedly blazing away.  Kinda like the Southern California June Gloom, only its all year.

I'm in a paraglider flying over the mountain bike competition

I'm in a paraglider flying over the mountain bike competition

The people are very friendly, and are particularly interested when they hear you are from the US.  Seems like the legacy of Mr. Bush has worn off and Americans no longer represent evil incarnate.  Well, maybe Bush still does.

All the buses have men "selling" their bus service and pushing you on the bus to hurry up the process.

All the buses have men "selling" their bus service and pushing you on the bus to hurry up the process.

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~ by rjmang on May 26, 2009.

One Response to “Lima”

  1. Yes, but we all know if you wanted Paris, you would have gone to Paris! Love what you are doing… be safe!

    Like

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