Que lo hace realmente especial al “Jugo Especial” de Peru?

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(Estimado tiempo para leer el texto: 7 minutos)

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La comida peruana es mundialmente famosa y especial. Elogié en un artículo antes el gusto de la cocina peruana. Escribí un articulo en Inglés sobre mis 10 platos favoritos del país andino. Definitivamente vale la pena leerlo cuando tendrías más tiempo. Mejor vamos a continuar con este artículo sobre el famoso jugo especial de Peru.


10 best Peruvian dishes you should try before you die

The Peruvian kitchen is world famous and a culinary delight for even the most critical gourmets. During my time in Peru I had the joy to discover a lot of brilliant flavors, aromatic spices and tasty sauces in a variety of excellent dishes. Therefore, it’s not an accident, that the Peruvian kitchen is seen as the best kitchen of the world. At least if you ask every Peruvian.


Pero ¿qué pasa con las bebidas peruanas, también pueden ser especiales? ¿Y es una buena idea llamar a un batido un ‘Jugo Especial’? Y aún más importante: ¿Que hace realmente especial al “Jugo Especial” peruano?
 
Durante uno de mis últimos días en Perú, estaba visitando uno de los muchos mercados en Lima. Lo que realmente me gusta de este tipo de mercados no son solo los precios bajos que paga por todo tipo de alimentos básicos. No, es aún mejor, que muchos pequeños empresarios manejan sus negocios de forma independiente y venden lo que las personas necesitan. En comparación con las grandes cadenas de supermercados nacionales como Plaza Vea, Tottus y Wong, uno tiene este enfoque de cliente individual y también apoya la comida local.

Multicentro La Capullana en Surco

Sin embargo, el ‘Multicentro La Capullana’ se encuentra en la Avenida Ramón Castilla en Santiago de Surco. Muy cerca de mi antiguo alojamiento y a menos de 10 minutos a pie. Me gustaba caminar por las mañanas o a media mañana y comprar algunas cosas que necesitaba. Desde el exterior, no lo reconoces ó parece realmente como un mercado, o (como dicen) un “multicentro”:


la capullana market

Pero desde el interior te quedarás definitivamente encantado con todos los fruteros, verduleros, carniceros, comerciantes en general, etc. y sus verduras, frutas y otros productos frescos que venden. Lo que realmente me gustó fue su esfuerzo por diseñar sus productos de una manera presentable:



Realmente no sé cuánto tiempo pasó con equilibrar y ordenar todas las fresas, pero realmente respeto el esfuerzo para que acomodarlos bien. Si recuerdo de todos los paquetes de plástico que usamos en Europa para tener la cantidad correcta y mantenerlos duraderos, siempre preferiré esta versión fresca e individual.​

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¿Jugo especial? ¿Por qué especial?

No obstante, todas mis visitas a este mercado procedieron cronológicamente de la misma manera. Entré en el mercado y antes de comenzar a comprar todo tipo de cosas bonitas, me paraba en la pequeña tienda junto a la entrada para obtener un jugo recién exprimido. Aquí puede tener las mezclas más sanas de todo tipo de frutas exóticas y genéricas. Usualmente prefería los de durazno y mandarinas / naranjas.
 
La mayoría de los prejuicios y preocupaciones de este tipo de mercados en los países de América del Sur son que el nivel de higiene es más bajo que los estándares en los países europeos y occidentales y que es más fácil recibir algunas bacterias debido a condiciones de suciedad. Debo decir que este prejuicio no está justificado, porque nunca vi un nivel de higiene estándar más alto por parte de todos los demás que antes me estaban sirviendo un jugo:



Pero un jugo en su menú fue simplemente llamado “Jugo especial” sin ninguna explicación adicional. Esto ya me dio curiosidad, porque quieres saber por supuesto qué tiene de especial este zumo, respectivamente, cuales ingredientes hacen que este zumo sea especial. Era más caro que todos los otros jugos y eso me llamó la atención también. Es por eso que pedí un “Jugo Especial”.

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Lo que realmente hace que este jugo sea un jugo especial

No fueron las frutas como la papaya, la fresa y el plátano. Mi curiosidad fue saciada cuando observé a la dama preparando mi jugo especial. Ella puso muchas cosas inusuales en la licuadora, que la mayoría de la gente preferiría usar para preparar pasteles. Junto a un torrente de leche de vaca y un huevo (!), Llenó un almíbar de algarrobo negro, miel de abeja natural y esencia de vainilla. Se agregó un chorro de cerveza negra (!!) para redondear todo y agregar aún más calorías. Solo para estar seguro, que no me moriré de hambre después de tomarlo.



De la antigua expectativa de un jugo puro, me presentaron ahora un híbrido de batido de leche / bomba de calorías. No solo la existencia pura me dejó sin palabras, sino que también fue la mera cantidad. Pagué por un “Jugo Especial” y casi obtuve un litro de bebida exagerada. Por supuesto, era demasiado para un vaso, por eso la señora lo puso en dos vasos grandes. Muy generosos estos peruanos!


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Si quieres escuchar mi opinión gourmet, escucha el siguiente video:



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Una extraña explosión de sabores entró en mis sentidos, afrutada, dulce, cremosa y sabrosa al mismo tiempo. Para no insultar al barman, me vi obligado a terminar los dos vasos. No quería ser grosero al salir de la tienda después de tomarlo. Pero después de tomar ambos vasos, ya tenía suficientes calorías para dos comidas y me tambaleé a casa con una sensación de saciedad.


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What makes the Peruvian ‘Jugo Especial’ really special?

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(Approximate reading time: 6 minutes)

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Peruvian food is world famous and special. I lauded in an article before the HQ-tastiness of the Peruvian kitchen. If you have some additional time, you should definitely read the following article about my top 10 Peruvian dishes:


10 best Peruvian dishes you should try before you die

The Peruvian kitchen is world famous and a culinary delight for even the most critical gourmets. During my time in Peru I had the joy to discover a lot of brilliant flavors, aromatic spices and tasty sauces in a variety of excellent dishes. Therefore, it’s not an accident, that the Peruvian kitchen is seen as the best kitchen of the world. At least if you ask every Peruvian.


But what about Peruvian beverages, can they also be special? And is it a good idea to call a shake a ‘Special Juice’?

During one of my last days in Peru, I was visiting one of many street markets in Lima. What I really like from these types of markets are not only the minor prices you pay for all sorts of staple food. No, it’s even better, that many small entrepreneurs run their independently business and sell whatever people need. In comparison to the big national supermarket chains Plaza Vea, Tottus and Wong, you have this individual customer approach and support local food as well.

Multicentro La Capullana

However, the ‘Multicentro La Capullana’ is located on Avenida Ramón Castilla in Santiago de Surco. Very close to my former accommodation and less than 10 minutes walking distance away. I liked to walk there in the mornings or mid-mornings and buy a few things I need. From the outside, you don’t really recognize it as a market, or (as they say) a ‘multicentro’:


la capullana market

But from the inside you will be definitely delighted about all the fruiterers, green-grocers, butchers, general dealers, etc. and their fresh and promising vegetables, fruits and other goods they sell. What I really like was their effort to design their commodities in a presentable way:



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I don’t really know, how much time she spent with balancing and ordering all the strawberries, but I really respect her efforts to let it look good. If I remember all the plastic packages we use in Europe to have the right quantity and keep them durable, I will always prefer this version.

¿Jugo especial? Why special?

Nonetheless, every of my visits at this market proceeded chronologically the same. I entered the market and before I started to buy randomly all sorts of nice things, I stopped at the little store next to the entry to obtain a freshly pressed juice. Here you could have the healthiest mixes of all sorts of exotic and generic fruits. I usually preferred the ones with peach and mandarins/oranges.

Most of the prejudices and concerns of these types of markets in South American countries are, that the level of hygiene is lower than the standards in European and Western countries and that it is easier to pick up some bacteria due to dirty conditions. I must say, that this prejudice is unjustified, because I never saw a higher standard level of hygiene from everyone else who was serving me a juice before:



But one mixed juice on their menu was simply called “Jugo especial” (special juice) without any further explication. Already this made me curious, because you want to find out, what is so special about this juice, respectively which ingredients make this juice special. It was more expensive than all other juices and that raised as well my attention. That’s why I ordered one “Jugo Especial”.

What really makes this juice a special juice

It was not the fruits like papaya, strawberry and banana. My curiosity got satisfied when I observed the lady preparing my special juice. She put a lot of unusual things into the blender, that most people would rather use to prepare pastries. Next to a torrent of cow milk and an egg (!), she filled in syrup of black carob tree, natural bee honey and vanilla extract. A shot of black beer (!!) was added to round it all up and admix even more calories. Just to be sure, that I won’t starve after drinking.



From the former expectation of a pure juice, I was presented now a milkshake/calorie bomb hybrid. Not only the pure existence made me speechless, it was also the sheer quantity. I paid for one “Jugo Especial” and almost got one litre of an overblown drink. It was of course too much for one glass, that’s why the lady put it into two big glasses. Very generous these Peruvians!

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If you want to hear my gourmet judgement, please listen to the following video:



A weird explosion of tastes entered my senses, fruity and sweet and creamy and savoury at the same time. To not insult the barkeeper, I was kind of obliged to finish both glasses. Didn’t want to be rude to leave the store after one drink. But after incorporating both glasses, I had already enough calories for two meals and lurched home with a surfeited feeling in my paunch.


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Hola Su de Peru, que tal estás tú? I’m thinking about you! Woohoo!

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¿Con qué frecuencia usé esta pequeña rima simple para “impresionarla”? No lo recuerdo, pero se desarrolló como una palabra alada. Incluso después de la 4,328 vez, ella todavía reprimió su molestia y se mantuvo amistosa con una sonrisa más amplia y blanca que jamás ví en mi vida.

Entonces, ¿quién es Su? ¿Quién es esta mujer con el nombre más corto del mundo? Tuve la oportunidad de conocerla en 2014 en Lima, fue en realidad la primera muestra peruana que vi en mi vida. Y cuando la vi por primera vez en el largo vestido de cóctel bailando en el césped del jardín del apartamento en el que me acababa de mudar, nunca hubiera esperado que la mantuviera como una buena y cercana amiga mía.

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Fue difícil mantenerse en contacto en 2014, porque mi semestre en el extranjero en Lima fue una experiencia desenfrenada para mí, con muchos encuentros de corta duración. Por lo tanto, uno nunca sabe durante el primer semestre en el extranjero y la primera vez en otro continente, quiénes son las personas con las que puede contar y con las que vale la pena mantenerse en contacto.

Y Su definitivamente valió la pena y también fue la razón por la que visité las clases de Muay Thai. Practiqué algunas lecciones con ella los lunes por la mañana a las 7 am (!!),porque esta clase era la única coincidencia para encontrarnos. Como estudiante en el extranjero, debes comprender cuánta dedicación significa sacrificar un lunes por la mañana para que una chica te dé una paliza en una clase de Muay Thai.

Eres bienvenida Su, incluso años después. No hay necesidad de agradecerme por eso 😉

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A lo largo de los años nos mantuvimos en contacto y cuando regresaba a Lima después de cuatro años, el destino nos unió, a ella y a mí nuevamente. Me ofreció quedarme un par de días en su apartamento, mientras buscaba un lugar propio para quedarme en Lima. Casualmente, uno de sus compañeras de piso dijo un día después de mi llegada en enero de 2018, que se quería mudar del apartamento y coincidencias de la vida, ¡de repente había espacio disponible para mí!

Durante todos los años en el extranjero, viví con muchas personas juntas y cada una tiene sus propios hábitos. Algunos son más sociales, mientras que otros solo piensan en sí mismos. Susan era y es una persona…) muy social y me ayudó varias veces a salir de las miserias y problemas peruanos. Ella me integró bien en sus círculos de amigos y conocidos e incluso me presentó a los miembros de su familia. En comparación con la cultura familiar relajada de Europa Central, significa mucho, si eres bienvenido de una familia de amigos.

‘El camino de Susan’

¿Una fiesta, party, celebración y evento en Barranco sin Susan? ¡No imaginable! Durante mis siete meses en Lima, salimos juntos varias veces y nos divertimos mucho con la extraña y alegre población de Barranco. Mientras escribo el texto me estoy riendo de nuevo sobre todas las personas y abogados divertidos que conocimos durante las noches 😉

“El camino de Susan” se estableció por primera vez gracias a ella y luego se convirtió en un famoso tour nocturno Limeño. Si alguna vez alguien tiene la oportunidad de pasar algunos días en Lima, debe intentar de planificar un fin de semana allí. A Susan le gustaría guiarlos todos los viernes a partir de las 11 pm en “La noche de Barranco”. Debido a los mejores contactos con la vida nocturna, ella podrá conseguir unas mesas en cualquier momento, sin importar que lleno esté el salon. Para ella, es el bar el lugar perfecto para liberarse de la semana laboral de estrés e incluso celebró su cumpleaños allí.

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Alrededor de las 3 am del día siguiente, el tour continuará a un lugar super secreto llamado “El Bar de Nico”, al que solo se puede acceder para una cantidad limitada y selecta. Pero no se preocupen: Allí también tiene algunos buenos contactos disponibles para abrir las puertas secretas de uno de los mejores lugares del distrito.

Bailando con una sonrisa

Cuando otras personas toman sus bebidas o hablan entre ellas, ella es la única persona en la pista de baile que siempre está en movimiento. Susan baila. Susan sonríe. Susan baila y sonríe al mismo tiempo. Ella es feliz y otras personas también se alegran al observarla.

Normalmente hay una canción que te hace bailar. Susan y yo también tenemos una canción favorita. Es ‘El Baile y el Salon’ de Cafe Tacuba. Sentí como una ignición, cada vez que escuchábamos esa canción. Ella definitivamente quería bailar, cuando los tocadiscos tragamonedas tocaba esta canción.

Por supuesto, no hay una sola canción, que la hace querer moverse. Ni siquiera se necesita estar fuera de casa. Susan es una persona que puede bailar en casi todas partes, la única premisa es la música alta:

Susan

Hello Su from Peru, how do you do? I’m thinking about you! Woohoo!

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(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.

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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 😉

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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.

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‘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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Regards,

your Punchito

Ciao Peru – ¡Hasta la felicidad siempre!

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(Tiempo aproximado de lectura: 7 minutos)

Damas y caballeros,

Es la primera vez que intento escribir un artículo en mi blog en español. Para mí, es algo difícil de hacer, porque no es mi lengua materna. Por lo general, escribo en mi blog en el inglés para llegar a un público amplio. Aunque el inglés no es mi lengua materna tampoco, lo hablo con fluidez y sé cómo escribirlo después de muchos años escolares, estudios y trabajos internacionales.

Nunca aprendí español en la escuela, pero visité algunos cursos básicos aquí y allá durante un par de meses, pero nunca leí un libro en español, etc. Para mí, fue más ‘aprender haciendo’ y obtuve todo mi conocimiento de mis tiempos en Perú, Ecuador, Paraguay y España teniendo conversaciones y escuchando.

Nunca tuve la oportunidad de escribir un texto profundo en español. Ahora hay una oportunidad y me gustaría alcanzar a todos mis amigos y conocidos que hice durante mis tiempos en Sudamérica para compartir algunas líneas. Tal vez por lo general no leen mis artículos, porque están en inglés. Quizás porque nunca hay suficiente tiempo libre en nuestras vidas estresantes para leer un artículo.
Para mí ya es un honor si continúas leyendo hasta aquí. Y si tiene unos minutos más de tiempo, me gustaría profundizar en mis pensamientos y recuerdos.

El primer contacto con América del Sur tuve en 2014: 

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Era febrero y aterricé en Lima para hacer un semestre en el extranjero durante mis estudios de ‘Marketing internacional’. Para mí fue la primera vez que salí de Europa y pasé tanto tiempo fuera de casa. A pesar de que tenía 26 años, no era realmente maduro y no tenía idea de lo que estaba pasando en un continente diferente y cómo es la vida en una metrópolis en el otro extremo del mundo. No sabía nada de Perú, excepto Machu Picchu, Lamas y algunos futbolistas que jugaban para los equipos europeos.

Aparte de eso, era un completo principiante y novato. Pero aprendí rápido.

Lo que aprendí fueron las diferencias entre Europa y Sudamérica en términos de disfrutar la vida. Música rítmica, comida sabrosa, bailes impresionantes, hermosa naturaleza y destinos turísticos únicos. Todos estos elementos ayudaron a dar forma a una cultura extrovertida y una mentalidad orgullosa y segura de sí misma.

Y especialmente esta mentalidad orgullosa y segura de sí misma es lo que me impresionó y lo que definitivamente es una mejora de la cultura fría y poco inspirada que crecí en Europa Central. La gente sale y baila en las calles, siempre está en un estado de ánimo ruidoso e hilarante, toca instrumentos y sonríe todo el tiempo, a veces, incluso si no hay ninguna razón. Simplemente son más felices y modestos con lo que tienen, a pesar de todos los problemas económicos y políticos causados ​​por sus políticos corruptos.

Y muy pronto comprendí que todos estos elementos tal vez faltaban en mi vida antes. Después volver a Alemania en agosto 2014 me sentí como la piedra en la siguiente imagen:

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Me entiendes? Como el único que esta diferente en su masa. ¿Quizás esta cultura va mejor conmigo? Me di cuenta de que me gustaría pertenecer a esta cultura expresiva de alegría y felicidad más que a la cultura aburrida en la que viví toda mi vida en Alemania. Por supuesto, hay razones económicas detrás de muchos otros argumentos como la oferta médica y la estabilidad política para preferir vivir en un país como Alemania. Pero, ¿realmente quiero consumir cerveza y salchichas todos los días hasta el fin de mi vida? Levántate, trabaja, vuelve a casa y duerme otra vez? ¿Un círculo vicioso sin salida??

No lo hice e intenté regresar a Sudamérica en junio de 2017 para hacer una pasantía de graduación para mi estudio de maestría en la Secretaría Nacional de Turismo en Paraguay. Mi objetivo era terminar mis estudios (¡listo!) Y después del estudio vivir (¡listo!) y trabajar (¡error!) En América del Sur.

Siempre fue mi sueño regresar a Sudamérica y vivir y trabajar durante unos años. No importa dónde o en qué país o ciudad. Simplemente diviértete, gana mucha experiencia en el extranjero y perfecciona para hablar español. Hice todo lo posible por encontrar un trabajo desafiante e incluso estuve dispuesto a evitar una gran cantidad de salario y otros beneficios que un empleado buscaría en Europa. Pero no tuve la suerte de encontrar lo que estaba buscando y perdí bastante tiempo, dinero y potencial durante la búsqueda de trabajo en Perú.

Especialmente para un extranjero como yo, era muy difícil encontrar un trabajo. Muchos peruanos me dijeron exactamente lo mismo que estaba describiendo en el primer párrafo. No importa cuánto lo intentes o cuán bueno seas, todo funciona con conexiones. Y, por supuesto, un extranjero como yo en realidad no tiene muchas buenas conexiones con una nueva ciudad en la que quiere vivir. Los pocos contactos que tengo, han tratado de ayudarme, pero que no tuvieron éxito con sus esfuerzos. Hay tantas empresas que buscan empleadores internacionales con experiencia laboral y que pueden hablar varios idiomas, pero nadie está dispuesto a ayudar con la visa de trabajo o patrocinarla a un extranjero. ¡Una situación absurda, que nunca podré entender!  

Por supuesto, gané aquí y allá un poco de dinero cuando me contrataba como traductor y redactor. Pero esta no es la razón por la que estudié dos veces, ni lo suficiente para llenar un programa semanal o mi estómago hambriento. Y las personas que me conocen me confirmarían que tengo un estómago muy hambriento y puedo comer tanto como trabajo.

Sin embargo, es el momento después de todos estos meses para reconsiderar lo que es mejor para mí. Creo que fue mi madre (?) Quien dijo una vez: “Nunca está mal tener un sueño y orientarte a eso”. Y me gustaría saber qué diría sobre un sueño que no se realizó. Probablemente, ella estará muy feliz de tenerme de vuelta 🙂 Y eso es lo que realmente significa la realidad: si no puedes hacer realidad tu sueño, será mejor que vuelvas a la realidad y tal vez vivas la vida que se suponía que debías hacer antes.

Entonces, regresaré a Alemania. ¿Qué vendrá después de eso? No tengo ni idea, pero buscaré un trabajo en el sur de Europa, preferiblemente en España, por supuesto. Después de tanto tiempo viviendo en una mentalidad diferente, no es posible en ninguna otra parte que no sea en el área mediterránea tener una experiencia de vida comparable a la de América Latina.

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Dudo que regrese a Lima / Perú nuevamente. En 2014 vine a este país para estudiar, en 2018 para vivir. Conozco casi todos los destinos turísticos notables del país y apenas hay algo completamente nuevo para descubrir. Y si no se me concede trabajar en Lima / Perú, no veo una razón real para regresar. Algunas veces, el amor no es recíproco y permanece unilateral.

Entonces volviendo a la realidad, ¿eh? El caballero de la fortuna busca su suerte en otro lugar del mundo. Sería increíble, si alguien tiene un radiestesista o detector de metales para encontrar lo que estoy buscando y estaría dispuesto a prestarme. Alternativamente, estaré más que agradecido por cada ayuda inspiradora o última charla antes de dejar Perú y Sudamérica. Un pequeño adiós-comentario sería bueno también.

Gracias, muchachos!

Is high priced Peruvian gourmet food really worth it?

Foooooood
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(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)

Yes, I really love and appreciate the Peruvian kitchen with all its spices, rare flavors and diversity. How often should I repeat that? Until all of my friends read and understood my blog with all my explications:

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However, you can eat even in the expensive Peruvian capital of Lima relatively cheap and you will still receive a good quantity and sufficient quality. That’s the case for every middle-class restaurant and especially every low-class diner. You get what you pay for. So what about dining at the upper class restaurants? Is it really worth to try high priced Peruvian food? Does a man like me with a quadruple stomach like a cow gets satisfied with a small gourmet portions? I made the self-experiment in the Barranco Bay area and had a charming companion.

The first good thing about the bay of Barranco is, that it is very difficult to reach. That means at the same time, it is quite safe and no plebs is trying to annoy and molest at night. You need definitely a car/taxi to reach this place over the highway, there are no public transports or opportunities to walk to:

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Anyway, I had the opportunity to wait for 20 minutes at the bay, because I was waiting for my plus one. And it was probably the first time since I’m in Peru, that I was not too late (!) and even earlier than agreed (!!!) at the meeting point. I was quite surprised, that I saw a clear sky at night. That doesn’t happen often during the winter months in a coastal city like Lima. What surprised me even more was the fact, that the crescent was parted vertically.

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Hmmm, not sure if I am the problem this time. But I could swear, that the crescent is divided horizontally in the northern hemisphere!? Maybe I never paid that much attention before to the cold shining moon. Anyway, it’s for me one of the last days in Lima and I was enjoying the rush of the marine water at the surge:

When Rosse – the lady I was having an appointment with – finally arrived, we entered the high quality restaurant La Trastienda and were very professionally welcomed and escorted to our reserved table. The restaurant was almost empty at 8:30pm and they arranged for us a table at the seaside. Not a big deal if half of the restaurant is empty. But still a better place than between kitchen and toilet.

My biggest fear visiting a gourmet restaurant is always to remain hungry after dining tiny little portions. As a member of the Gluttony-Hall of Fame I know what demolishing impressive quantities really means. Once I visited an All-You-Can-Eat restaurant and had to pay twice. So, I was like always concerned, that the suggested quantity of the plates won’t be enough for the black hole in my stomach.

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Rosse and me ordered first fruity cocktails to get into the right eating mood. Hell, already the cocktails tasted like an intensive adventure. From that moment on, I didn’t want to drink anything different again in my life. Maybe it was the best one I tried so far. And the most expensive in South America for me so far as well. Ordering a $9 cocktail might not seem much, but for Peruvian proportions it’s quite a price for a cocktail.

My cocktail was simply called Barranquito as the name of the beach:

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Pisco is the traditional Peruvian liquor made of grapes. Since ever there a rivalry between Chile and Peru who invented Pisco. If you want to annoy a Peruvian you can always compliment the nice Chilean culinary things like Pisco and Ceviche. I’m pretty sure, that you’d be admired more after that statement. Viruta de Roble (Oak chips) and Hierba Luisa (Lemon Beebrush) gave it a spicy taste, passion fruit and granadilla made it fruity tasty.

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Accompanied by these two excellent cocktails, we ordered Anticucho. As I wrote before in a different article on my blog, Anticucho might not be Average Joe’s first choice, if you tell him what they really are. For me they are a delicious snack and perfect as a starter. And these ones were as well the best ones I have ever eaten in Peru. Usually, Anticucho have a juicy and smoky taste if you chew the soft meat. This one was a savory and aromatic masterpiece in combination with the French Fries and cooked corn it came with. Although the usual spits are taller and it comes with three units per kind, it was worth ordering them.

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Unfortunately, I can’t find my main dish on the online menu they have. But I’m pretty sure, that a picture’s worth more than 1,000 words. Please be inspired from the spicy sea food experience I made:

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I need to sadly admit, that the photo quality of some shots isn’t the best due to the sparsely illumination over the table. But what you can see here is HQ-food. Isn’t wan’t much in fact and my quantity prejudices were unfortunately confirmed by what was on the plate. But I could also swear, that the better quality of the food in combination with the spices filled my stomach at least a little bit. Satisfied it was one way or the other. Not only with the food, but also with the nice companion I had:

How to end an elegant dinner? With a sweet temptation in the form of a dessert. Next to generic options that probably every menu would offer, we decided to pick a plate with a mix of various Peruvian desserts:

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Might be quite a thing now to explain every little piece in detail of the Sweet degustation. Maybe the following picture could help me out here:

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Five little and sweet portions to make everyone happy and satisfied. Although I’m actually a fan of hearty desserts as the French kitchen with its cheese desserts has to offer, this one was worth the order as well. The only thing, I maybe didn’t really like was Crema Volteada on the right side. A strongly tangy tasting dessert, which can be maybe compared with the Argentinean Flan. Not really my highlight, but the other four rectified successfully.

I can recommend everyone interested in good and tasty food to visit La Trastienda. It’s Peruvian food in completeness and worth the money!

One cocktail isn’t enough of course. That’s why Rosse and me walked a few meters to another bar called ‘Qincha Bar Resto Arte’. A nice place as well and I ordered a fruity cocktail, which was served with decorative blueberries and mint on top:

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Of course I ate both decorations!

 

a colorful house in Lima

5 reasons to better not live in Lima (May 2021 Update)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, English, peru, Uncategorized

Lima is the capital of Peru and a popular destination for many tourists and travelers. However, there are as well many expats living in the Peruvian megacity. There are plenty of good reasons to come to that city. But some expats might have doubts when it comes to moving to a city like Lima. Could it be, that you somehow are simply not made for a tumultuous, chaotic, and culturally dull city with a very grey climate? Read in this article more about 5 reasons to better NOT live in Lima.


Approximate reading time: 15 minutes

(Last update: May 15, 2021)

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Welcome back! You successfully clicked your way through and came here from the previous article. Or you accessed it by any other means. In any event, you are an expat and curious why it might be a better idea to avoid living in Lima. There are always tons of encouraging articles you want to tell you what you should do, where to move, what to visit, etc. But only a few articles confront the reverse of the medal and show some contra arguments. That’s why you are here – You would like to find out more about possible downsides, disadvantages and reasons to not live in the 5th biggest city of Latin America.


a colorful house in Lima
Here you can see a colorful painting of a flat in Lima.

And here I am. I would like to give interested expats some more insights about Lima. Sharing with you first-hand insights from my perspective might help you. Not everything is shiny and perfect in the capital city of Lima. Please continue reading this article and find out more about 5 reasons why to NOT live in Lima.

Please let me know in the comment section if you liked the article and what you think about it. You can also send me an eMail to contact@traphil.com and ask your questions in a bit more private manner. I’ll respond to it as quickly as I can.


1

The labour situation is awful

It doesn’t matter, how hard you try. It doesn’t matter, how well you are qualified. And it doesn’t matter, how much work experience you already have. In Lima, employees have a very hard time finding a job. Although the country has had for many years increasing prosperity and economic recovery, the job situation isn’t good in Peru, even worse in Lima.

The situation in Lima looks terrible to be honest. Finding available jobs for highly qualified foreigners in Peru’s capital continues to be a tricky matter, as 14.5 percent of people in Lima are currently without official employment per the latest figures from February 2021. Covid and its consequences are affecting you as a foreigner as well. Something to consider BEFORE moving to a city like Lima.


Miraflores in Lima
Malecon de Lima en 2014

Especially for a foreigner like me, it was very difficult to find a job. Many Peruvians told me the same as what I was describing before in the first paragraph. No matter how hard you try or how good you are, everything works with connections. And of course, a foreigner like you doesn’t have a lot of good connections to a new city he wants to live in. The few who I have tried to help me, but didn’t succeed with their efforts. There are soooooo many companies who are looking for international employees with work experience and who can speak multiple languages, but no one is willing to help with the working visa or sponsor it.

An absurd situation, that I will never be able to understand!


2

The traffic situation in Lima is terrible

Wherever you want to go in Lima, which neighborhood or part of the city, be advised that it will take ages to arrive and you should start to go on midday when you are expected for dinner. Yes, Lima is a very big city with a lot of habitants as described in the introduction. But the traffic situation is one of the poorest of the world. Lima grows year by year of population and everyone wants to have a car. Streets are because of that more than congested and during the busy times such as morning and evening rush hours, it is terrible to be in need of going to another point of the city.


Seems like a waste of resources.

Did you know Lima has 15 times more taxis than NYC? I know, that it sounds weird, but during my six months in Lima, I didn’t witness any single accident. This is not because of the good and talented driving style of the drivers. All streets are so congested, that there is almost no movement and with a lower speed, cars make fewer accidents. Sounds crazy, because I saw many damaged and scratched cars during my time in Lima, but still didn’t see an accident with my own eyes.

What you can see on the following video is Ovalo Higuereta, one of the main traffic junctions of Lima. I recorded this video from the low angle shot at 5pm – Hence BEFORE the rush hour in the evening after work.


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Now you should imagine, that during the real traffic chaos between 6 pm – 8 pm the situation is even worse. Can you imagine that? There is already a traffic rotary with five lanes, but still, it is completely congested. You can see busses as well in the video. They were sometimes so overfilled with passengers, that the rear axle of the vehicle was abrading the street and damaging it.

Generally, people from Lima don’t obey the traffic laws, that’s why you hear almost everywhere in the streets load roaring sirens. Whether police, firefighters, or ambulances are driving to an operation or not, they are abusing their sirens in the hope of having an advantage in the traffic situation. Unfortunately, the drivers don’t grant additional space for the emergency vehicles to drive through. Drivers in Lima use their horns for every possible situation in traffic: For Turn signals, to cross a street, to insult other car drivers, etc. Pure chaos!

The following video is from 2014. So everything you see there is 100% from Lima, but you should regard, that the situation is now four years later worse than in 2014:



The only alternative to rapidly go to another neighborhood is the Metro system they have. Although it is a double rail, there are currently only two lines that connect different parts of the city. I only could find one semi-good map of the metro system of Lima:


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Only the pink and violet lines are active, all others are under construction or just a project. Here, it is very easy to say, that the government overslept to react on time to the growth of the city. Because of this omission, it will take many years to solve the problems of the past. but then they still are not ready for the future, because the city will continue to grow and new challenges will appear.

A usual situation at the metro of Lima looks like the following:


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​All Peruvian craziness in one single video. And this is nothing special, but ‘only’ a scene during a Saturday afternoon.


3

Corruption

A real balanced equilibrated and progressed society shines because of one important factor: equal opportunities for everyone. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in a lot of examples I encountered in Peru. On one of my first days in January 2018, I have recognized something, that I didn’t see before in my life.

An exhibited corruption of a governmental institution to its civilians. I was ordering an Uber driver to pick me up and drive me home at night. At the red traffic light, he stopped duly. This can be seen already as something special because no one follows the traffic rules in Lima. Regardless, if it is a pedestrian, biker, or car driver. But he stopped the car as wide as a finger beyond the stop bar. One traffic cop who was lurking across the street at the other side saw this and came to the car.


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A gas station in the middle of the road!

After a few minutes of discussion and threatening the Uber driver with losing his license for his offense, the police cop ‘offered’ to solve this without an official fine, if the driver would pay him 20 Soles (more or less $6.15). All efforts of the driver to avoid payment because of this ridiculous misdemeanor didn’t help: He had only the option to pay this amount to the corrupt cop or to lose his driver’s license. So he had to swallow the bitter pill and paid the cop more than the recent price for his taxi services to me. I felt very bad for him!

Corruptions exist everywhere in the world. In some countries Peru ranks in the Corruption Perception Index 2016 from Transparency International on rank number 94 of 180 which is pretty bad. Only Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay have in South America a higher corruption than Peru. For a country, that wants to be modern, civilized, and progressive it needs more anti-corruption measures. The Peruvian president needed to resign in March as well because of a corruption-related matter. A very interesting article can be read here.


4

Lima is the least authentic Peruvian city in Peru

Before I came for the first time to Lima in 2014, I didn’t know anything about the country except Machu Picchu and Lamas. Let’s call that the stereotypical and default gringo knowledge. Machu Picchu and Lamas you will find far outside of Lima. Amongst many other things, that are purely Peruvian and you would generally expect a city like Lima to offer you.

One example is a cultural festivity like carnival. I expected from a religious country something like the cultivation of customs and traditions regarding their catholic festivities. And they do, you will find a lot of customs and traditions with authentic suits, dances, and music – Outside of Lima. What I found in Lima during the carnival was the following situation you can see in the video:


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Does that have anything to do with the carnival you were expecting from a catholic continent like Latin America? At least I don’t think so, but I lost a good pair of jeans and a shirt in this colorful mayhem.

This is not the only moment when I was missing a distinctive Peruvian spirit in Lima. The same happened during Easter weekend. Or Whitsuntide. Or even the national holiday. Everywhere else the Peruvians in other cities are celebrating these special occasions with their style. In Lima, they do not celebrate it at all.


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To see these monuments, you need to travel to other provinces like Callao Monumental for example

I’m not sure, why this is the case. Maybe Lima is regarding its population too hybrid of all Peruvian origins to be distinctive? The same happens when you mix all colors: At the end, you will have a hue of grey. Like Lima La Gris.

And making a perfect transition, grey is the typical color of Lima as it will be introduced to you in my last of the five reasons.


5

Lima la gris

Although it is a coastal city AND located in the desert, the most of the year the weather is really shitty. From May to September, the climate changes for the whole metropolitan area of Lima from good to bad. During the winter months, the whole city will be shrouded in a grey and depressive mood. Dark rainy clouds are coming from the seaside and cover the whole sky. There won’t be any sunlight or a light blue sky for up to five months. ‘Lima la gris’ is nothing more than a nickname for the city that means ‘Lima the grey (one)’.


Traffic chaos in Gamarra
A silky grey shroud girdles Lima for about 6 months.
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As a Northern European citizen, I am used to facing hard and relentless winters with a lot of cold and snow. Although you might freeze a lot during the European winter months, you never get depressive, because you see at least sunshine or a blue sky for some hours of the day. And falling snow gives you as well some rare opportunities, like building a snowman or a snowball fight or pissing the name of your girlfriend in the white mass.

Fortunately, it doesn’t get really cold, maybe around 10 – 15 °C (50 – 60 °F). Still, a normal day in Lima during the winter months looks like the following:



Not the happiest place to be. Lima is because of its climate a very challenging place for expats to live. If you are very sensitive to hot temperatures or have allergic reactions or chronic respiratory ailments, you should reconsider moving away from the hot/cold/grey/polluted/congested capital city of Peru. Maybe other cities in Peru or Latin America will suit you better.


That’s all, folks! No more Lima for me. I am heading to another destination. Where? Stay updated and subscribe to my newsletter to never miss an update and be always informed about my latest articles!

I hope, that I could give you support for your decision to live in Lima La Gris. By giving several pros and cons from the insider’s perspective, you should now have a better imagination about the Peruvian megacity.

Did you read the first article about the many good arguments for expat life in Lima? In case you didn’t, please click on the article below to gather some additional information about 5 reasons to live in Lima from the expat’s perspective.


I’d be very happy if you decide to leave a comment below or become a subscriber to my blog. Many other interesting articles are already in preparation. Never miss an update and follow me on social media!

Thanks for reading my article!


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TraPhil features… Χωρις Î“λυκανισο

TraPhil features...

(Approximate reading time: 12 minutes)

Shit – What has happened to the headline? There are some alien signs you never saw before in your life. But don’t worry: Neither do you need to read the text from the right to the left, nor to download the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player.

Maybe it is better, if I let the person I want to introduce to you people hidden and dangerous in the dark. I think, that this would be exactly how he wanted it to be. Let’s just say, that these strange signs in the headline are luckily not Arabic, but from the Greek alphabet. And let us call this man Dimixtrix, following how some Peruvians tried to pronounce his name and made us both laugh. People from South America had enough problems to pronounce his name correctly and thought all the time that he would be Russian. But he does not have a lot in common with a Vodka drinking and Russian Roulette playing psychopath. Far from it! I am talking now about one of the finest and sharpest personalities I met so far during my time in South America. And if Don Felipe compliments people (what usually doesn’t happen too often) AND writes a dedicated blog article about this person, there must be something true inside of his words!

I had the chance to meet Dimixtrix for the first time in October 2017 when I was new in Quito. Everything was new for me in that time: New country, new city, new apartment, new people, new daily rhythm, new everything. I lived in a very huge house with about 35 living quarters. My time in Ecuador was not very successful: I had heavy problems with my health, completely incompetent doctors to deal with and a job that was not corresponding and matching my talents and skills AT ALL. Besides that I couldn’t fix my Visa problems, because I was dependent of my official documentation from UCAM, the worst university of Europe. Without that kind of documentation I couldn’t apply for a working visa.

All in all not the very best arguments to look finally back and say: “Yes, that was a great time”. But luckily I met one person, that was really worth it and will be always a precious friend and contact. Dimixtrix was my neighbor in that huge house, that was more suitable for exchange students and social volunteers from Europe and the U.S.A.
When I met him for the first time, I was highly surprised: He was Greek. And during all my years abroad I barely met any Greek students, tourists, etc. They mostly stick to their country due to different reasons. Dimixtrix luckily received a scholarship, which made his time in Quito possible. So it was just luck, that we met each other at the right time at the wrong place. I write wrong place not only because of me, Dimixtrix prefers as well living closer to the beach area to listen to the waves than living up in the mountains.
We had directly a click, because he is from Thessaloniki, the second biggest city of Greece. It is a really beautiful city and worth to visit. My uncle migrated 30 years ago to Greece to a little fisher village maybe 50 kilometer away from Thessaloniki. So I was surprised, that he knew this little fisher village and he was surprised, that I had already visited his hometown and could tell him a few stories about his city. A good conversation and a good start for a buddyship!

During that time I already had the luck to perceive him as a very energetic and active personality, without any fear of strange or unknown things and with the willingness to first eat something and then later ask: ‘What is that?’. So exactly this ‘I’ll do it, come hell or high water’-attitude also represents me. How many people don’t want to exit their own comfort zone and prefer to stay safe and secure in their rhythm and routine? Dimixtrix is so far away from his own comfort zone, if he turns around and tries to look for it he would probably need binoculars to find it. A real explorer and curious adventurer.

After three months of a lot of trouble for me I finally decided to leave Ecuador and headed to Peru. In the week when I was leaving town, he asked me: “Will you be in Lima in March/April? I’m planning to travel to and through Peru.” I told him, that probably I will be but can’t promise anything to him. He answered me, that he will visit me for sure. Okay, nice words. But how many people have already told me, that they would visit me and have never shown up?

Dimixtrix also says these words, but what is indeed more important about him: He realizes them and make them happen. There are not many people in the world who let nice words consequently nice actions follow. Mostly it remains BlaBla. Well, I found a very nice Greek specimen it seems. And I am very grateful to that!

So Dimixtrix contacted me again in February and told me, that he will travel to Peru and if I would like to join him for one week. I didn’t need to think for long and agreed to his idea. We met in Mancora, what is in the north of Peru, very close to the border of Ecuador. He came from the north, I came from the south and we met almost in the middle. And it was probably one of the most exhausting bus rides I ever made: 20 hours in a normal travel bus, without the comfort of a sleeping bus.

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Bus from Lima to Mancora: 21 hours

So we started together in Mancora for two nights, went from there to Piura to catch a bus to Chiclayo. In Chiclayo we have visited ‘El mercado de las brujas’ what means something like ‘The Witch Market’ and which has to offer a lot of weird voodoo things to interested people.

So from these seven days we were unfortunately most of the time in a bus. Maybe 2.5 days from these seven days were wasted/spent on the roads of Peru. But it was nonetheless worth it!

When we arrived at the hot springs in Yumagual I was very disappointed about the site: An indigenous tramp requested 5 Soles charge at the entrance of this free place from us and indigenous people were washing their clothes at the hot springs. So all in all that day was a little bit disappointing. But Dimixtrix was still in a positive mood and did not show any displeasure about our situation.

All in all I am very thankful to have made this trip with him, because I saw a lot of things which I probably never would see so easily again or on my own. But Dimixtrix is very energetic and could motivate me several times to continue although my inner energy reserves were running low. I like to remember the last day in Trujillo, when I was after an upset stomach and no sleep in an overnight bus close to book a ticket back to Lima. But he convinced me to stay for one day longer and thanks to this decision I had for example the joy to see the oldest Pre-Colombian city Chan Chan in South America.

After returning to Lima, we also had a couple of good days together, e.g. at the evening with Coline and Lea (Two old housemates from Quito) or at ‘La casa de Nico’.

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And Dimixtrix loves ice cream! Whenever he had a good meal and his tiny stomach is already full, he is still looking for an ice cream:

Ice cream with Susan and Dimixtrix

Although it’s quite stupid and wasteful what the Peruvians did here: Installing a motorized gas compressor to operate an ice cream machine including its cooling system. But Dimixtrix wanted to have an ice cream.

Not all about Dimixtrix is perfect of course. He has the typical Greek “I love to be late” mentality. In South America it didn’t really matter, because these people here love the same mentality. when he made an appointment, the other person was late as well. So if both people are 30-60 minutes late, at the end they were punctual. Another little careless thing is to travel to South America without a smartphone. The only advantage is, that none South American criminal can steal his phone. The disadvantages are the missing GPS, the missing clock, the missing possibility to contact him, etc.. It’s not very easy to travel without a cellphone through South America in our modern times, where everyone relies on the internet. My deepest respect, but it also complicated our trip sometimes 🙂

Dimixtrix and his friend Thanassis – Who joined for a South America trip as well – continued traveling to Ica, a city in the south of Lima. He took another bus of four hours and wanted to see the desert and the oasis of Huacachina. I didn’t go with him, because I already saw these places before. He has some more big travel plans: Go to Santiago de Chile, after that back to Cuzco and then to Buenos Aires. Of course everything in bus.

I wish him all the best, a safe and secure trip and a successful finish of his studies. One more semester and he is done with his shite. If destiny wants it, we will sit one day together in Thessaloniki and eat Bougatsa, a traditional Greek breakfast and drink Frappé, a traditional Greek coffee.

Beach report no. 2 – Playa La Herradura (Lima, Peru)

Journal

(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)

After the great success of the first report about Playa El Silencio (one of the most read articles on this page), I thought, that it would be time to visit another beach.

So I chose one beach that I already knew from my first visit in Lima in 2014. I visited the beach in April and it was a very quiet beach with almost no people there. No people means no one annoys you when you are laying lazy on your chair and try to take a nap. Reality looked different in 2018, but maybe it was because it is still holiday time in Peru. And holiday means a lot of families with a lot of children. But this time it weren’t the children who tried to catch the attention. Read the second beach report about Playa La Herradura and find out, who broke the peace.

Accessibility ☀☀
All the people who don’t have own cars need to go by taxi, because there are no public transport system reaching this beach. Fortunately, taxis are not very expensive in Lima due to high competition. Thanks to Uber, Cabify and Taxibeat, this competition even raised and let prices drop more. For a 20 minute ride I paid only 10.50S/.($3.22 or 2.61€).

Good price!

Value for money ☀☀☀☀
The entrance is free, because it’s a public beach. Lending two beach chairs and an umbrella costs 15S/. ($4.60 or 3.73€), regardless for how many hours you want to have it. So that’s a quite fair price compared to other offers.

Supply system ☀☀

I felt not oversupplied, but rather undersupplied. No ice cream seller shows a lack of entrepreneurship. I do not understand why there are several vendors of towels and sunglasses, but nobody thinks about a wonderful and refreshing ice cream. If I go to the beach, I have of course my towel and my sunglasses with me and don’t need more or new ones. No need to wear a second pair of sunglasses or lay on a second towel. This situation doesn’t change, if the vendor passes twelve times my chair to control if I am still wearing sunglasses or if I am still using the same towel. I simply don’t need more of the things I already have.

Please change your business strategy and try to sell ice cream from now on.

Surface quality ☀☀
During a very hot day (That was as well burning my poor skin) the sand heated up merciless. No way to walk to the shore without burning your feet. But not only the hot sand made a walk to the water a real challenge. Nearly the half of the beach width’ was constructed of huge stones. It was more a balancing act to reach the water than a safe walk. At least the children had fun throwing stones around.

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Safety ☀☀☀☀
The beach itself is not very width, maybe half a kilometer long. Because of that, there is only one little outpost of lifeguards. Surprisingly the members of this unit wore shirts and caps with “Police” on it. I’m not sure if they were real members of the police, because I’ve never seen a police representative with short pants and no shoes on. 

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Tranquility factor ☀☀
Compared to my first visit four years ago, I must say that it was more quiet in 2014 than now. Maybe because of the high season are now much more chairs visible at the beach. More visible chairs at high season mean also to host more guests. But it weren’t the guests who were making the noise, surprisingly it was the one who was renting out the chairs who broke peace:

I have really no idea, whom he wanted to impress or attract with these dances. For a moment I was thinking that I entered up a gay beach, but regarding all the families there that couldn’t be the case. Later on, the same half-naked dancing clown tried to attack guests from a neighbored place:

Activities ☀
Nothing to see, nothing to do at this beach. A little boring.

Level of cleanness ☀☀☀
The beach was semi-clean. Between the sand there were some bottle caps and other rest of the products what people consume. The normal suffer at a beach.

Suitable for Families with children? 
Yes it is. Ignoring the inappropriate behavior of the half-naked dancing clown, also children have a good time at the beach.

Dogs allowed?
Not sure, if dogs are allowed or not, but at Playa La Herradura I didn’t see anyone with a dog, but a few stray dogs. Sad to see!

I am very curious, what I will see on my third expedition to the local beaches. The first two ones were already funny and promising.

Beach report – Playa El Silencio (Lima, Peru)

Journal

(Approximate reading time: 7 minutes)

The only valuable information regarding “Playa El Silencio” I found at tripadvisor.com. Here most information are in Spanish language. Although it is semi-interesting, to read the experiences from several people, there is only a total star rating from 1 – 5 available. Categories like the above mentioned hard factors (accessibility, value for money, security) are not visible on first glance. They might be written in the contribution of the users from tripadvisor.com, but all in all it is a high effort to collect all valuable information together. squeezing out an orange for a glass of juice can be more easy. I didn’t find amongst all the opinions of the user not a detailed report.

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A panorama picture of Playa El Silencio taken from the entrance

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So I thought to write about the beach and check the quality, at tripadvisor.com the beach received a four star rating. But how should I know, if the beach is suitable for families with small children? Are dogs allowed at the beach? How expensive is it to access the beach. Read now the first beach report about “Playa El Silencio”.

Accessibility ☀☀☀
It’s not difficult to access the beach, but you have to take quite some time in consideration, regardless if you drive with an own car or use the public transport. Both the traffic in Lima is everywhere awful, in my case I was heading from the centre to the south on a Friday noon and that was quite exhausting. It seemed like the half of Lima wanted to take the highway to go for a long weekend outside of the town. I took a bus from “Mall del Sur” to the closest station of the beach.

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That took maybe 30 – 40 minutes and cost 3.00S/. ($0.93 or 0.75€). Arriving at the middle of the highway you have now the option to take a taxi or go by feet the rest of the distance. I chose to go the rest of the distance.

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Bullshit! It took half an hour maximum. How does Google calculate the walking distance? With old people on crutches?

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For me it was kind of funny to see billboard of Uber. I can’t remember, that I have seen any advertisement of Uber before in my life.

Anyway, unfortunately I underestimated the force of the sun on 11:30am and walked these 30 minutes without putting sunscreen earlier. Quite naive, so I got burned a little bit, but didn’t feel it, when I arrived. But when I arrived, I put on sunblock as I should. Lesson learned!

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All in all, it took 70 – 80 minutes until I arrived. And I think, that this is quite a lot but still bearable for a Friday traffic chaos in Lima.

Value for money ☀☀☀
Good and low are the costs for the public transport to access the beach. The entrance is free, because it’s a public beach. All the rest is far off consideration and quite exclusive. Lending two beach chairs and an umbrella cost 30S/. ($9.30 or 7.50€), regardless for how many hours you want to have it. Avarice is a vice, but in my perception, this is quite a lot to not lay in the bear sand and get a stiff bag. To avoid these vexations, I had to bite the bullet. At least the usage of the sanitation facilities of one of the restaurants was included. Everything else to buy and consume was quite expensive in my opinion.

Supply system ☀☀☀☀
Wow, although it’s a public beach, there was no lack of everything. The beach is definitely well equipped with restaurants and beach vendors. It was actually a little bit annoying to enter the beach and get directly molested from five different people who want to bring you inside of one of the restaurants or sell you the beach chairs. Only on bazars in Arabistan it might be more annoying and a pain in the arse than at this beach.
At the beach itself I felt very oversupplied of all the beach vendors. You can’t sit quietly for 30 seconds in your chair, because then the next expert wants to impose you his products.

I was quite surprised, that irrespectively of the ratio of 1:3 (one tourist and three vendors) their business was still successful. No cannibalization, even if you could ice cream every minute of the same company. Even if you would erase the half of these nuisances, it would have been still enough to make every guest at the beach happy.

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Not sure, if selling books is a good idea at the beach…At least this beach vendor doesn’t need a gym membership, if he is carrying these heavy books in his hands all day long.

Surface quality ☀☀☀☀☀
Wonderful gritty sand with just a few shells or stones. Not too hot, not too cold.

Safety ☀☀☀☀
There might have been sufficient lifesavers and other security guys walking around. At least I didn’t feel insecure of any threats like thefts. But the only thing that made me wonder was the yellow flag, although there were some crazy intense waves. Some people, especially young fellas, had their little problems to swim and get back to the shore.

Tranquility factor ☀☀
The beach is called “El Silencio”, but the last thing you can expert there is silence. You can’t take a nap, if all 30 seconds someone yells at you to buy a cold beer. The good level of (over)suppliance gets down the tranquility of the beach. I simply can’t eat an ice cream and drink a beer every minute. That’s not possible, even if I wanted to or had enough money for it.. At least there wasn’t any loud music to hear from the restaurants or other tourists.

Activities ☀
Maybe the only thing, that was really missing. There weren’t any extrinsic activities possible at the beach. Nobody wanted to teach me how to surf or hire out a jet ski. Neither were there any beach volleyball pitches or other activities possible. I wasn’t bored because of that, but expected at least something when going to a beach.

Level of cleanness ☀☀☀☀☀
Wonderful! In combination with the fine sand, there wasn’t anything to complain here. No glass, plastic or other garbage to evade to walk on. The beach was very clean and even every beach vendor picked up the garbage from the tourists along their walking paths. Were they obliged from someone to do that or proceeded with it on own motivation? No matter, but at least the beach was nice and clean.

Suitable for Families with children?
Yes it is. Maybe a bit boring, but definitely suitable for families with children. Parents might be not able to take a nap because of missing activities for the children, but that’s the price you have to pay when going to the beach. But keep always an eye on your youngsters when you let them inside of the water. Remember the crazy waves when showing only the yellow flag?

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First I was laughing and wondering about someone who tries to sell a swimming pool at the beach. But offering it to a family for little children is a good idea.

Dogs allowed?
I don’t remember that I saw any signage regarding a ban of dogs. Neither did I see a dog. I think, that’s a ‘Yes’. Well, actually a ‘No’ then. I suppose, that dogs aren’t allowed.

Well, I can just recommend to go and make a visit at Playa El Silencio!

Colorful parade in Surco (April 2014)

old tumblr blog articles from 2014

Colourful parade in Surco

In my district Surco has been a few weeks ago a very colorful parade. It nearly looks like carnival, but it has just been on a Sunday without any reference to carnival.

I couldn’t really find out, what the topic of this parade was. I’ve seen superheroes like Spiderman and Batman, old woman dressed like clowns, cheerleaders and monster trucks all combined in one parade.

I stepped on a bridge to have a better view from upside for photos.

Gamarra (Lima) en 2014

Countries, English, Languages, old tumblr blog articles from 2014, peru

Gamarra

Gamarra is a part of Lima which is ideal for shopping for clothes and walking across the food and spice markets. But there is a big difference between a market in Europe and these markets. For the better orientation of the prices: 1 PEN is 0,25 €.

I really love these markets and felt very comfortable there. Since now, I’ve visited Gamarra two times but I know, that I will be there more often.

First impressions of Miraflores in Lima

Countries, English, Languages, old tumblr blog articles from 2014, peru

First impressions of Miraflores.

Die ersten Eindrücke von Miraflores.

Las primeras impresiones de Miraflores.

De eerste indruk van Miraflores.