5/10/10: Arequipa, Peru
Since Kevin’s dad (henceforth referred to as Dad Curry) was nice enough to come down here to meet us, we thought the least we could do would be to show him a good time. So here’s what we did the last two days:
Cooked and ate pasta for lunch
When we go home I may actually never eat spaghetti with canned sauce ever again. It’s cheap, it’s easy it’s filling and you can get it in any country, but really – I’m so over it. But despite my strong feelings about pasta/pasta sauce, what did we decide to do for Dad Curry’s first official meal with us in Peru? Did we take him out to the nicest restaurant in Arequipa? Did we find a place with delicious alpaca filet and kitschy decor and eat there? Nope, we stayed at our hostel and made pasta with pasta sauce.
Went to the Arequipa mall
When we first stepped into the mall here in Arequipa a few days ago, my jaw just dropped. A Radio Shack! Payless Shoes! Burger King! Having grown up in the Mall State (New Jersey), I suffer from mall withdrawal if I don’t get to see one every day. So even though Arequipa’s mall was only about the size of a regular Macy’s back home, we still went there every day just to walk around and feel sophisticated. We would wander around the department store, and I loved staring in awe at the shiny new blenders and mixers. So of course when Dad Curry got here we had to show off our mall to him. We showed him the KFC and the Pizza Hut and pointed out the Radio Shack. (Look, headphones!) I don’t think he was very impressed by our mall, but he was too polite to say anything about it.
Went to the Arequipa bus station
We had actually attempted to buy tickets the day before Dad Curry got here so that we wouldn’t have to make him go to the bus station with us, and it’s a boring story about what happened with that, but basically, we failed. So yesterday the three of us took a taxi to the Arequipa bus station to get our tickets to Cabanaconde. I always get nervous at bus stations because we’ve heard so many stories of people who have gotten bags or wallets stolen at bus stations. And in this case, I was particularly nervous about going to the Arequipa bus station because a) with three people and my overactive imagination, we had triple the chance of losing something and b) the Arequipa bus station is supposedly one of the worst bus stations in Peru for getting your bag taken or getting pickpocketed. But it turned out that we successfully and safely bought our bus tickets, and I didn’t panic once. Not even silently. I consider that a resounding success.
Had yet another crappy crappy bus ride
I could write a book about the crappy bus rides we’ve had in the last eight months, but I won’t do it, because a) it would be really boring and b) all the stories would be the same. (But she’s still going to talk about the crappy bus ride, isn’t she? Yes, she is!) In all honesty, I can’t think of a worse bus ride we’ve had during the day. It was blazing hot and our windows didn’t open. At points it was so crowded that there were people sitting on our armrests and I literally could not see Dad Curry across the aisle from us. The road was bumpy and dusty and our driver seemed hell bent on killing us. And to top it all off, they played music (in Spanish) so loudly I couldn’t hear myself think. At one point on the ride I was literally banging my head against the seat in front of me out of frustration. When I finished doing that I looked over at Dad Curry to see how hew as handling it. The first adjective that came to my mind: stoic.
So in short – here’s what what we did with Dad Curry in his first few days in Peru: we made him spend a night alone in the Lima airport, we cooked him mediocre pasta, we took him to the Arequipa mall, we made him go with us to an unsafe and crowded bus station, and for the grand finale we got on a hot, crowded, bumpy, and extremely loud five-hour bus ride.
Makes you want to come see us too, doesn’t it?
Picture of the Day: Extremely NOT thrilled with this bus ride.