Tuesday, August 11, 2009 1:04:10 AM
I've happened to be there 3 times, and each time with different experience. The first one was probably the best, as it ended up with remarkable encounter with Japanese Peruvian Jorge.
Remarkable, because back in school Jorge learned Russian and I was the first Russian he had met in his life. It's pretty funny when a Japanese and a Russian meet in Brazilian bar in the middle of Peru to have chat in a wild mix of few English, few Russian, much Spanish and much Portuguese . And it's really interesting, when this Japanese happen to have his own home-made cachaça to share with you in that brazilian bar . When we were saying goodbye, Jorge made sure to walk me to the hostel. I asked if it was because it's dangerous outside, which he answered was not the case... Yet something makes me think it's not the complete truth .
Another interesting thing, is that according to Jorge, who runs some touristic business there, being japanese is hard in Cuzco (because of lack of confidence and willingness to cooperate between ethnic minorities and locals), yet much easier in Lima. I'm not really sure about it, because in the end country happened to have even a japanese president. But peruvian politics is another story. Isn't it funny, when to get to the parliament, one candidate just places the billboards all over the country with her number written on her butt, and... she actually gets a good place
What else about the city? Well, it have some examples of colonial architecture, some nice gardens... but from my point of view, Peru has a tremendous amount of unexploited cultural heritage which can go far beyond adoration of something built with European influence. Seriously, the capital can have slums and dirt only if it is the home of creativity and a rich culture expressed, maybe, in some other ways. For instance, I would have loved to see the Nazca-style figures in traffic lights, instead of all these dull regular green and red people . Maybe this also would have made a semaphores a little bit more respectable. Otherwise it all looks a little bit too sad for me.