(Approximate reading time: 11 minutes)
How often did I use this simple and amateurish little rhyme to ‘impress’ her? I can’t remember, but it developed as a winged word and even after the 4,328 time she still suppressed her annoyance and remained friendly with a smile showing the widest and whitest smile I have ever seen in my life.
Soooo, who is Su? Who is this woman with the shortest name of the world? I had the opportunity to meet her in 2014 in Lima, she was actually the first Peruvian specimen I saw in my life. And when I first saw her in the long cocktail dress dancing on the grass in the garden of the apartment I just moved in, I could’ve never expected to keep her as a good and close friend of mine.
It was difficult to remain in contact in 2014, because my semester abroad in Lima was a wild and rampant experience for me with a lot of short-time encounters. Hence you never know during your first semester abroad and at the first time in another continent, who are the people you can count on and worth to keep in touch with.
And Su was definitely worth it and was as well the reason why I visited Muay Thai classes. I practiced a few lessons with her on Monday mornings at 7am (!!), because that was the only timely overlap we could visit this class. As a student abroad, you should comprehend, how much dedication it means to sacrifice a Monday morning to get your ass kicked in a Muay Thai class by a girl.
You’re welcome Su, even years later. No need to thank me for that 😉
Over the years we kept in contact and when I was going back to Lima after four years, destiny put her and me together again. She offered me to stay for a couple of days in her apartment, whilst I was looking for an own place to stay in Lima. Coincidentally, one of her roommates said one day after my arrival in January 2018, that she wanted to move out the apartment and as coincidence commanded, there was suddenly room for me available!
During all the years abroad I lived with a lot of people together and every single one has his or her distinct habits. Some are more social, whereas others only think for themselves. Susan was (and is) a very social personality and helped me several times out of Peruvian miseries and troubles. She integrated me well in her circles of friends and acquaintances and even introduced me to her family members. Compared to the lax Central European family culture, it means quite a lot, if you are welcomed from a friends’ family.
‘El camino de Susan’
A fiesta, party, celebration, happening and event in Barranco without Susan? Unimaginable! During my seven months in Lima, we went out together several times and had a lot of fun with the weird and tipsy population of Barranco. Meanwhile I am writing the text, I am laughing loud again about all the funny people and lawyers we met during the nights 😉
‘El camino de Susan’ was first established by her and got lather then promoted to a famous Limeñan nightlife tour. If you ever have the chance to spend some days in Lima, please try to plan a weekend there. Susan would be very happy to guide you every Friday from 11pm at ‘La noche de Barranco’. Due to best contacts with the nightlife, she will be able to get a table for you anytime, no matter how full the scenery will be. For her, it is the perfect bar to let loose from the stress work week and she even celebrated her birthday there.
Around 3am of the consequent day, the tour will be continued to a top-secret location called ‘El Bar de Nico’, that only can be reached from a limited and selected amount of people. But no worries: There she has certain good contacts available as well to open up the secret doors of one of the top spots of the district.
Dancing with a smile
When other people are sipping from their drinks or talking with each other, she is the one person on the dance floor, who is always in motion. Susan dances. Susan smiles. Susan dances and smiles at the same time. She is happy and other people get happy as well observing her.
There is usually that one song, that makes you wanna dance. Susan and me have a favorite song together as well. It is ‘El Baile y el Salon’ from Cafe Tacuba. Felt like an ignition, every time we listened to that song. She definitely wanted to dance, when the jukebox played this song.
Of course, there is not this single song, that makes her wanna move. It’s not even needed to be out of home. Susan is a person, who can dance almost everywhere, the only premiss is loud music:
El Ojo Bermúdez
Unfortunately, the Peruvian national soccer team was only allowed to play three matches in Russia during the World Cup 2018. That’s why the most of my international readers probably won’t understand the following joke fully. But there is a funny little striker in the team called Edinson Flores. He was called several times during their matches from the TV-commentator ‘El Oreja Flores’, because of the following reason:
Although it might not seem nice, to reduce this player to his outstanding and obvious hearing organ, it became during the matches something like a running gag and welcome addition to entertain the audience. When Susan and me were going out at night, something very unusual happened to her sensory organs as well, but not to the ears. It was more her eyes, who didn’t really want to behave as she wanted to behave. Especially her right one:
Susan doesn’t like violence. But once, she looked like she was beaten and had something like an infection on her eyelid. That exacerbated her generic ‘problem’ with her eye and made it even more distinct:
The crazy cat lady
Although Susan told me, that she doesn’t want to have kids, she is already a mother. Her brood are two impertinent and gorgeous cats, whereof one is a very hoggish specimen. I once wrote an article about the cat and also produced a video. You should definitely check it out – Then you know her cats and that the cats love her and seek always her presence. Especially a warm body to sleep.
Do you know this character from the Simpsons who is throwing with cats at strangers? The crazy cat lady? Definitely I can see parallels and am concerned, that flying cats will be used in Lima as weapon. Especially her obese tomcat Lugh can become a weapon and tear down an opponent with his weight. If you are walking at Avenida Paseo La Castellana in Surco, you should wear a helmet.
Susan is a snow first-timer
Did you ever see snow falling yourself? Smelled it? Felt its cool temperature, that numbs your fingers? I am always surprised, if my friends and acquaintances from South America have the desire and longing to know how it feels to touch snow?
If you grew up in Central Europe, you get annoyed by snow sooner or later in life. As a child, you may love snow for all its appealing additional bonuses like snowball fights, building snowmen and outages of classes. If you are older, you hate to freeze and the terrible traffic jams caused by snow.
I am very glad to be the one who shared Susan’s first experience with snow. Somehow there is not a difference between a little girl and a grown-up lady. If they see both snow for the first time, they don’t really know what to do. Later they dare to dare and touch it and get used to the unique texture of the frozen water. Finally, they have fun and can’t stop touching it.
A lot of good Sundays
If we didn’t finish devastated at 6am (or later!) at the bars of Barranco, we usually spent a lot of great Sundays together. Mostly eating good food in Cevicherias, watching preparation matches of the Peruvian squad for the World Cup or visit some far neighborhoods in and around Lima to pass a great day before preparing for the next working week.
A few very nice Sundays I put together in the slideshow below:
So much fun is such less time
I have actually so much more funny stuff and stories to tell about her, that I sometimes forget how confident they are exactly. Maybe it’s better sometimes to keep quiet and enjoy thinking about these funny moments. But there are a lot of other good moments that I captured with my phone to tell a story:
My plan was to go to a Sushi restaurant, order the ‘All you can eat’-menu and eat at least 100 Makis. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it due to different reasons and only highscored 91. But Susan came with me and helped me emotionally with that big challenge. I’m proud to have finally found someone, who supports my gluttony!
But it’s not always about quantity and ‘All you can eat’. Especially in Peru – a country that celebrates eating – you can find a lot of high quality food. These dishes are actually so heavily tasty, that you don’t want to leave a single piece or drop on your plate, before the waiter comes to clean up the table. Su would like to show you in the following video, that table manners are in Peru defined as followed:
Believe it or not, but that’s pretty normal in Peru. And maybe also in a lot of other countries of the world. But the difference is probably to usually not do that in public 😉
If someone nourishes herself with good food, she should be also in a healthy state:
Next to cats, she has also a heart for plastic giraffes and the brightest smile I have ever seen:
What a powerful lady!
The more I think about Susan, the more respect I have for her and the way she is able to manage her life. It’s not easy to live as a woman alone and independently in this world. But trying the same in South America and in a macho dominated culture how she has to face it every day in Peru lets me compel respect from her. Especially if Lugh eats up the half of her monthly budget.
It is a sad thing in life, if you don’t know for sure, when or if you are able to see each other again, isn’t it? I think, that it is.
Sometimes, the ways of two different people cross each other surprisingly again. Same happened after all with our first reencounter in January 2018. But when will be the second reencounter? And where? And why? It definitely won’t be for wedding or birth-related happenings, that’s for sure. Neither she nor I have any intention to follow the mainstream rules and rather want to live an individual life.
But one thing I know for sure. No matter when we are meeting each other again or how long it may take to see each other again. I am pretty sure, that we will still have the same trust and faith in each other, still laugh about the same childish jokes and still the same deep and profound conversations about life and all its challenges. I miss talking to her. She was like a big sister to me, who I never had.