Bonus Bank Holiday, running in, jogging on, Kilimanjaro, Victor Meldrew says, undecided and T-shirt of the week…


Good morning Folks

I trust you had thee most splendid weekend.
A quick round up of another week of misunderstandings, miscommunication & mystery in the land where the seasons/weather have gone a bit loco! (Red hot days in winter, but El Niño is threatening to wreak havoc when summer comes…)

Bonus Bank Holiday…

I’m still getting to grips with the Bank Holidays here. They are generally different to those in Blighty & don’t often fall on a Monday, (the last one was on a Sunday, my only day off anyway!)
The powers-that-be have just announced an extra “Feriado” tagged on an existing feriado. Thursday 8th October & now Friday 9th too. It would’ve been ace if (only) I didn’t work Saturdays.
The IMF are in town holding a convention, so the main road/artery of the city. The world’s longest car park; Av. Javier Prado, is closed. On a good day it barely flows anyway, but if it is closed then pretty much everybody who doesn’t work at home is stuffed! It would be similar to closing the M25, M1 & A1.
I don’t like to get political on here, but when I see the poverty on the streets that I see every single day, it does make my blood boil that certain people (in the news) are above the law, untouchable & nothing is done about it. Rant over!
I’ll take the extra day off work thank you :-)

Running in…

Like a phoenix from the flames, the Clunk was brought back to life last week by the Moto Maestro brothers, Jimmy & Raul.
Now commences the not-too-exciting task of running in the new engine bits & bats. 500km worth of half-revs & going up & down the gears, properly.
My Spanish short fallings were exposed when I thought I said that “If you run it in at the same speed, the piston/barrel will go oval”, when instead I said that the piston will turn into a roundabout!
500km will be guesswork, as my speedo doesn’t work.
I would like to publicly thank the inventor of the disc brake, as he/she saved my bacon on Monday, when a Taxi decided to stop dead in front of me.
Much as I miss my old C90 Clunk back in Blighty, I don’t think that drum brakes would have stopped in time :-/
Hopefully escaping Lima for a night next weekend, fingers crossed.

Jogging on…

My running has been hit-&-miss of late (more miss than hit). I was going alrighty in August & then the Wee One has been on sleeping strike since then, and as all my running is at night (11pm-ish), by the time we’ve got the Bairn off to the land of nod, it’s been almost time to get up.
Been terrorised by stray dogs of late too, must be my after-shave.
Need to step it up again, but have lost a lot of drive. Growing tired of tarmac.





In June 2004 I first flew out to Peru with my good mate Lloyd.
We were both blissfully unaware that this place would have such a huge bearing on our lives, at the time. He has lived out here since & is one of the people that keeps me sane, in this city of madness. Circumstances/time/traffic mean that we don’t see each other much, but we met up for a bit of decent fodder on Friday.
With the Nipper we went to a really cool place called “Kilimanjaro”. A huge restaurant done out in a jungle theme. Trees, elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, gorillas, snakes & the rest.
On the main stage there was a 5-piece-band of monsters that looked a bit like Animal off The Muppets. When they suddenly sprang to life, poor little Valentina was a bit startled, but it was a brief interlude. The food was ACE. The best “Lomo Saltado” I’ve ever had & the Wee One was tucking into her food too, until… image

the lights dimmed, the strobes started, thunder sound-effects bellowed out & suddenly, all of the (life size) animals came to life!image

(Not quite the same as this classic Vic & Bob sketch)
For a child a bit older, it would have been amazing, but the Nipper didn’t like it one bit & started crying & then was violently sick all over me.
The lights came back on, the Nipper started smiling & everything was back to normal. I spent the rest of our stay avoiding the steely glances of the folk on the next table.
On the bus on the way home, a woman with a baby sat next to us suddenly started doing a Mr Creosote impression. Must have been something in the air!

Victor Meldrew says…

The grumbling one is back with a vengeance this week, with a repeated moan.
“El trafico de Lima”
If I had a magic wand I would first of all cure the disastrous traffic problem (& then see what excuse 95% of people had for being late!)
I analyse this problem too much. I should just swallow the fact that it will always be bedlam.
At first I thought it was the volume of traffic (especially taxistas), but the quantity is probably less than London, Rome or Paris.
Then I thought it was the layout. Somebody who missed all the lessons in logic/common sense has designed the roads. Life & limb is risked at every exit, as you try to slot in with the traffic that is entering in the same lane.
My conclusion is that it is the driving!
“Give way” are 2 words that are never used. Any slightest gap you leave is filled. Nobody looks before pulling out & nobody gets in lane, ever.
I was sat at the lights (which were working, but had been replaced by a Traffic Bobby, who was out of sync with the lights). The nanosecond that the lights turned green, everybody was on their horns. However the road ahead was blocked by 5 lanes of traffic (on a street with 3 lanes) trying to turn left, so therefore nobody was going anywhere.
The shortest distances take the longest amount of time to cover. That’s why I bought a Clunk, thinking I could filter & weave my way around the chaos. However, the sheer unpredictability of the drivers makes life on two wheels a terrifying prospect at times. I kiss the ground every time I get home.
I’ve worked in pubs, boozers & bars, so I’m used to trying to anticipate the moves/moods/behaviour of a drunkard, but this is worse.
It’s an ultra-aggressive “Me first” attitude.
I really don’t want to meet my Maker as a result of being knocked off my bike by an erratic Taxista & then run over by the Combi honking his horn 2” off my back wheel. So many times I have just thought “$od this, I’m flogging the bike”.
The sad thing is that I don’t think this problem will ever get solved. It’s just going to get worse & worse. Until the attitudes change, it’s never going to get better.
Victor Meldrew says “Piense Varon! Mirrors? Signals? I give in!”


(Just in case I’ve been whingeing a bit too much this week!)
I’m a positive bloke, I try to see the good in everything/everyone, but I’m still very undecided about my hairbrained idea of returning to live in Lima.
Joe Simpson (“Touching the Void”) said, “You’ve got to keep making decisions (in life), even if they are the wrong decisions…”
It was entirely my idea to return here.
Lina was happy in Blighty. She warned me about all the not-so-good things, which I brushed aside, which have all come true!
I pushed & pushed, until Lina gave in (which makes me sound & feel like a really, really bad husband). It was always a bit ambitious to move back here & start from scratch (again), especially with the Bairn.
I’ve struggled to settle, I’ll not deny that.
The best thing about life here is my job. (At last) I’ve found a job, that I love, that I’m (hopefully) not bad at. Britanico is a brilliant place to work.
I love teaching. My colleagues are awesome & the students are the very best.
I love getting off-road on the Clunk (when it’s not in pieces) on the odd Sunday morning.
However, there are many other things that drive me to despair.
It’s something that I think about every day & most days I would return back to Blighty tomorrow (or yesterday, or even sooner!)
Somebody once asked me “What are you running away from?” (A very profound question, but with 33 house moves under my belt & a CV that measures 6” (concise version), they may be right.
Am I going through the change? Am I looking for something that I’m not going to find? Am I just being unrealistic/selfish?
The strange thing is that I’m not especially homesick. I miss my family, my mates & the Lakeland Fells, but I’m not yearning for Fish & Chips or John Smith’s Smooth, or anything like that. I love travelling & experiencing new cultures, but things are different to what they were in 2004-2006. I’ve changed, (my) life’s changed & the city has changed. Please don’t get me wrong; Peru is a fantastic place, with amazing people. I just don’t know if this is the place where my roots will be planted.
I’ve got an extremely patient wife, who puts up with my moodswings & nonsensical ideas, plus a gorgeous little Nipper.
I’m a lucky guy. It was never going to be an easy transition.

Rough with the smooth. It’s been a bad week. Next week I might be singing a different tune altogether!


T-shirt of the week…

This weeks star prize goes to the young lass who I say tucking into a cream cake, as she crossed the bridge over Evitamiento. She wasn’t on her way home from Weightwatchers, nor could she be described as anything less than hefty (I wouldn’t have messed with her), but her T-shirt proudly shouted “WTF –Where’s The Food?” Classic :-)

Have an awesome week.

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

p.s. If I did escape for a night away next Sunday, next weeks blog will be on Tuesday. I’ll let you know!
p.p.s. To offset my negativity, here is a pic of the Nipper , just before she swung her legs back & almost knocked my front teeth out :-)


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