Good morning folks
I trust this finds you in tiptop form and that your weekend was splendid.
Your weekly round-up of “locura” from Lima.
Mad old week, as ever, no ale this week to soften the chaos, lows & highs, lows & highs!
Big sporting news for the Blanquirojas.
A nation housebound for a day.
Plus trains, inking and ice creams.
It’s all going on here…
Cancellations and chances!
After last Thursday’s result against Argentina, Tuesday was transformed into Peru’s biggest match in the last 25,000 years!
A possible and real chance to qualify for the World Cup…
With kick-off at the National Stadium at half-six, traffic pandemonium was guaranteed.
I had told students that there were classes and some extra-diligent students promised to turn up. Thus I was a tad shocked to receive an email around noon saying that classes were cancelled from 4pm (my first class). Bonus, tinged with guilt nontheless!
Lina is at college on a Tuesday night, so I explained to the Nipper that we were watching the football. As our telly doesn’t work (it’s not connected) it was a rarity to switch it on.
The Wee One thought we were playing football so she got her Peru top on and ball out!
Have you ever tried watching a match online (the cheapskate/free way)?
It is a right royal pain in the ar$e, as each and every channel drops reception after about 10 minutes, so we were scrabbling around for another one!
We missed the first goal as a collective citywide groan went up.
One-nil down, but all the other matches had an influence. A late kick-off helped (as news filtered through of other results) and a late free kick ensured a draw and the red&whites found themselves in a wild-card play-off against New Zealand.
Not a nation renowned for its football, but I dare say they’ll pull out all the stops (and the rumour round Lima is that their shortest player is 5’10″….
Away in Kiwiland first week of November and then here in Lima a week after.
Watch this space…
By chance I heard of the nationwide Census next Sunday. (A weekend away I had been planning for over 3 months, not anymore).
By law, a curfew has been imposed meaning that nobody (bar Doctors, nurses and Emergency Services) can leave their homes from 8am-5pm. No shops open, church services extra early!
Even if the census folk come round, with their 47 questions at 08:01am, you still can’t go out until 5pm!
I had a bit of a wild idea, call me outrageous, but I was wondering if this could all be maybe done “online“?
The official word is that people would be tempted to “lie”, (although why you would say you were not here, unless you were a wanted criminal, is beyond me?!)
I would dearly love to sneak out in a ninja suit to see the city empty, but the rumour of arrest &/or a fine does put me off that idea (plus I don’t have a ninja suit, plus it won’t be dark, so it wouldn’t work anyway!)
It is costing 70 millon soles (£16,219,954.19) and should all be analysed/wrapped up in 6 months time I hear.
This is a low…
There are some things I hesitate to write about on here.
I spoke to my brother for the first time in ages this weekend (he is one of the two people who reads this) and he mentioned the blog had been a bit dark recently and I know it has been and I am sorry for this.
It is a fine line.
I tell the truth, it is a weakness of mine.
I am not like a facebook post saying “Oh, life is crap“, wanting people to say “Oooh, what’s the matter love?”
Nor am I a “My life is AWESOME” punter, as I would be lying, and my nose is big enough already!
I tell it as it is, and honestly/unfortunately it hasn’t been brilliant here, not for a while.
Work is good, work is really good, I love my job and seem to do an alright job.
Things outside of work (commonly known as “life”) is just not so great.
I have struggled to re-adjust to Lima life, my third stint here.
The first time was all-new and a massive adventure (a boozy one at that). Everything was massively different, new and a novelty.
The second time was hard, I struggled for work and was living on a bare bones budget, but it was “character building”. (Rose-tinted spectacles may have been worn since this period…)
This (third) time has just been hard, some good things and some great things, but just generally hard. Much of it revolves around where we live. It is not a bad area, it’s just not a good area either and the building/street we live in is hellishly noisy, all day-every day. People don’t give a monkeys, ever, at all…
Friends have told me I need to adjust or go mad/bitter. If you start to compare Lima life to a previous life/time/place, you have lost. Some cultural differences drive me nuts. Little things like queue-jumping, blokes urinating in the street, spitting, a lack of common courtesy…
Why I can’t just let things lie? I don’t know, I’ve turned into a really radgie, moody old bugger.
In the street I am constantly on the edge of bubbling over, but outside the gate at work I have to flick a Jeckyll & Hyde switch and that is tough. But, I can’t take out my anger/frustration on my students/colleagues. I don’t work long hours, so I can just hold it together at work.
It is a real bloody shame as Peru is a place that has endless scope for fun, adventure and mischief. It is a real bloody shame that so many people, of the 12 million shoehorned into this looney tunes capital, don’t realise that what they do (and continue to do) is doing nothing but holding them and the country back from progressing, advancing.
It can be a very frustrating place to live at times.
I just can’t understand why everybody leaves literally everything to the last minute.
I was in the Scouts (which was a bit more like a Youth Club, we didn’t have uniform nor say “dib-dib-dob”) so maybe I am a bit overprepared?!
I remember taking a flask (and pot noodle) to a race here once and folk remarked “Wow what a great idea”.
When I turned up at the next event with a stove (I knew there’d be no tucker/shops), it was like I was performing Alchemy live! What does it take to think ahead a little?
I always have a midweek slump, but this entire week has been the lowest week yet, rock bottom in all camps, especially at home.
I was supposed to be working on a project on Thursday morning, but when my alarm went off (I have about 6 alarms going off all day to remind me of things to do) to start dinner, I realised that I had just been staring into space for over an hour. Not a good sign.
Everybody is fighting their own private battle.
I spent my first two years back here trying to work out how the nation ticked, why things worked (or didn’t/don’t work) as they do, but as I was raising more questions than answers, I started to look inwardly and that was a mistake, as I found even less answers/sense there!
To be honest though things could be much, much worse. I’ve made a lot of my own problems.
A house move could be an answer to some of these issues and that is what we are now looking at in earnest. If this does come off I will kick this black dog right into touch!
Fingers crossed for that and then I’m firmly back on the upward slope again
Nipper’s Day Out!
Saturday was all planned out, not by me, but by a three year old, (who probably plans better than me anyway!)
It was to be a familiar routine: Parque del Amistad, facepainting, train ride, lunch out, ice cream, home. Sandwiched either side by a bumpy bus ride, with bairn, pushchair and all the gubbins needed for a day out.
Climb the tower ✔
(… that she can definitely make a spelling mistake in every sentence!
… that she will always get the & symbol the wrong way round…)
Lunch was almost a ✔until a last-minute toilet visit, when we were miles from a loo, with dinner and all our stuff laid out, it was a close call and a light lunch!
Ice cream ✔
A fine day out was had by both
Despite having had heaps and heaps of time to get it fettled, I still haven’t finished my presentation for Friday. I am looking forward to it immensely, I just don’t know what I am going to rabbit on about for an hour, yet!
My amazing Physio, SuperMaro, was back from Europe this week, so I booked in to see her and have my dodgy hamstring looked at. good news with a green light to start running again, very s-t-e-a-d-y, but a big boost
Not sure I’ll be fit in time for this though, shame as that is a t-shirt I would like!
Blast from the past!
Whilst back in Blighty I stumbled across a bag of old photos. This weekend I finally had access to a scanner, so I will slip one in here every week
This week, Little Chef-Bramham Crossroads (1987/8?) taken by my good mate Mr. Spencer.
The bloke on table 8 will have to wait for me to finish my cuppa, for his Early Starter
There are a group of fine people (who could also be described as madmen/madwomen) locked away in a secret bunker in Bristol, who cook up ideas for new adventures.
They call themselves, “The Adventurists”.
This is an old video by Mr. Joolz & Mr. Tom. Indiana Jones has nothing on these chaps!
THIS (video) is why I love the Adventurists
Have a superb week.
Johnny & the ladies x
p.s. STOP PRESS…
Big CONGRATULATIONS to my friend Serita, who was on the first Peruvian cricket team to beat the Chileans. Sterling work ladies. I hope you rubbed their noses in it about the football too