Sunday, 8 January 2012

Flamenco in Lima

I did not know much about Peru when I arrived in Lima end of December 2011. I did not know that Lima was in the desert, that the country was earthquake prone, I had never heard of Inka Cola or Lucuma ice cream or that there were fifty kinds of potatoes in the country or that it was never raining in Lima only drizzling ... what I however knew was that there would be sunshine and discoveries to be made ...

My first two days I was shown around Lima by Frank, a German friend of my friend Alex, who happened to be visiting the family of his Peruvian wife. From the historical centre to the Casa de la Literatura, from the Cafe Haiti to the Cerro San Cristobal ... I didn't think, listened to what Frank was elaborating on, rarely asked questions, simply went along with everything. It was great, I felt enriched.

A young woman in a bookstore, when asked how she would characterise Peru, said: diverse and chaotic. And pretty loud, I'd say.

The website of my very nice hotel (and that inludes the staff) says that all rooms come with "modern bathrooms with semi-Spanish shower"; I haven't the foggiest idea what a "semi-Spanish shower" could possibly be but mine worked properly.

On my third day I went for long walks in Barranco and Miraflores, it wasn't particularly hot but my face got sunburned! Shortly afterwards I bought a hat: straw on my head obviously helps.

Some of the houses in my neighbourhood are painted in (for Swiss eyes) most extraordinary colours: turquoise, auburn, beige, orange, blue, dark and bright green; the supermarket comes in yellow and looks like a baroque style church or a museum.

My older son is the quiet kind, a very good listener and he says that I'm talking as much as a thousand others, Marianna laughs. She is in her early forties, from Bahia in Brasil, stays in the same hotel in Barranco where I stay and she is (like most Brazilians) indeed quite a talker. In fact, she hardly ever stops except when one night, after dinner in an excellent fish restaurant, she heard sounds across the street that I couldn't place (she could) and said, let's go see that. It was a dance studio where about five young women under the guidance of an impressive teacher who radiated a stunning intensity were dancing flamenco. Powerfully, animatedly, and sensually. And very much in control. A celebration of the moment. I've rarely felt so present, and I'm grateful for experiencing these moments, they were truly exceptional.

1 comment:

marianna said...

Querido Hans, lo pasamos muy bien, el flamenco fue fantástico asi como tus consejos, que pases muy bien sus días en Peru

MARIANNA