“Draw-a-person”, 570 tricky questions and all-change-on-the-job-front!


Good morning folks

I trust you’re all in finest fettle.
It’s been a busy old week in the city of locura.

- The Nipper has started walking (charging around without fear!)
- El Niño is stretching out the summer beyond belief (although I’ve spotted a few punters who refuse to accept this & are wearing hat, scarf & gloves, despite it hitting 30 degrees some days).

- TEA has arrived from Blighty :-)
- The 2016 Dakar Rally will start in Peru!!!
- 4 weeks to go until the Lima Maratón :-/

- All change on the job front (& after celebrating this fact, with a session pace that George Best & Tosh Lyons would be proud of, I’m feeling a tad delicate writing this, right now…)

All change on the job front…

Most weeks are mad here, but this week has been madder than normal.
It’s been a difficult week in that I had to make a decision about work.
I absolutely LOVE my job at Business Links. Brilliant students, a well-run professional company & awesome colleagues. One of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had. The downsides being the commuting & cancelled classes. In the past (2005) when I was a single bloke with no commitments/responsibilities, I was doing similar jobs & it didn’t really matter.
I spent half my time on the Combis, but it was the only way & I was quite happy reading away along the bumpy miles to the 4 corners of Lima.
Now time is a bit more precious. In an ideal world, if I could get all my classes, squeeze them together & put them in one place, I’d be a happy man!


Out of the blue, I was contacted by the Britanico Institute (La Asociación Cultural Peruano Británica). I went for an interview last Friday, which was a pretty intense affair. Then I was invited to a “Psychometric Testing Evaluation”. 9am is never a good time to get anywhere in Lima, but I reckoned on an hour being plentY of time to get there. 5 miles & 55 minutes later, I had to ditch the Clunk & run the final mile. I arrived to the place a sweaty mess & was directed to a room that resembled a furnace. An application form (in Spanish), which covered every aspect of my entire life, was quickly filled in & then I was ushered into a freezing cold air-conditioned room for the testing!
First of all a test where I had to guess the sequence of the next domino.
Next up was the infamous “Draw-a-man” exercise. I had been warned about this. My drawing is around the level of a 4 year old, so I was off to a bad start. “Make sure you draw the ground” was a tip I was given, which I of course forgot, then I had to write a story about the story of Mr. Bad Drawing.
I had another appointment at 11am & I had thought I had plenty of time, until the guy produced the final part of the test at 10:20, saying that it would take around an hour. 570 true/false questions!
I made a quick call & cancelled my appointment.
Then I got stuck into the test. I can’t really go into too much detail, but questions such as “Can you sometimes listen to plants & trees?”, “Do you like fire?”, “Have you ever wished bad things about people?”, “Have you ever wanted a criminal to get away with a crime which you thought was very clever?”, “Do you often feel furious?”, “Do you suffer from intense headaches due to being angry?” along with a lot of intimate questions about sex & then similar questions, in reverse, “Do you not like fire?” So that you couldn’t just tick true/false tag-lag. My head was pretty much in bits by the end & I wouldn’t know which way to call it. Then I was called on Thursday afternoon for a Medical Examination on Friday morning.
Not sure if I’m being fast-tracked for NASA selection, but it was pretty intense. Apart from the usual blood/urine/hearing/sight tests (20/20 vision, but abysmally colourblind), I had a flexibility test (hopeless at that too), a fierce quizzing about my lifestyle/diet/exercise & then, more Psychometric testing (including 3 drawings this time). 3hrs later I was done.
Training starts on Monday & I’ll be there!
Britanico is a very prestigious & well-known organisation, one of the best places to study English in Peru & normally they only recruit staff in November. So really, I’m chuffed to bits that I’ve got in!

I’d love to be able to combine both jobs, but it’s just not possible, so on Friday night I had my last class with Business Links.


Supposedly, as a Teacher one shouldn’t have favourites, but my Mon/Weds/Fri evening class are AWESOME! It was really, really hard to break the news to them, but we will stay in touch :-)

Video of the week!


Our good friends the BANDITS ON ICE appeared on ABC News.
This is 2 minutes of video you must watch right now

Blog of the week!


Our intrepid amigos, Lisa & Jase, THE TWO WHEELED NOMAD are really cracking-on on their awesome adventure ‘oop north!
Their blog is that of legend & Jason’s photos are epic.
Check them out & follow them right HERE!

Anyone for Cricket?


My good friend Matthew came back to Lima this weekend & he kindly agreed to bring some goodies from Blighty, namely some TEABAGS & my Clunk jacket. We went for a relaxed afternoon at the oasis of calm that is the Lima Cricket Club. Deliciously ice-cold, cheap beer & the tastiest Anticuchos I’ve ever tasted, (I keep threatening to go back to being a veggie, these will have to go). Matthew, you are a SuperStar, thank you!


Afterwards I met up with some Teacher mates, in Miraflores. I’ve not been on a full-blown session in some time, so we set off at breakneck speed & held on. Needless to say I am suffering like a dog today.


The clock is ticking for the Lima Marathon…


4 weeks & counting!
Managed 45 miles this week & it is getting a bit easier (& I am seeing parts of Lima I never knew existed). Set off at 7am for a long run yesterday & took a wrong turn, ending up in South America’s largest industrial estate. 6 miles of sweaty greyness, including a very heavily guarded Brewery (Buckingham Palace has less security!) Getting completely lost is always a good way to get some extra miles in. Up to about 13 miles, so I think I’m kind of on track!
One mile into tonight’s run, various taxis (going in the opposite direction) flashed me optimistically, must have looked shot already.


A BL running legend once said that I have an “awkward lumbering” kind of style. I must have been doing a bit of a shimmy tonight as I slogged up Av. Javier Prado, as I go wolf-whistled! I don’t know if it was by man, woman or beast, but it’s reassuring to know that I’ve still got it!
Another punter shouted “Bravo” at me; at least he got my name half right.
Running (& exercise in general) is much more popular in Lima nowadays, but in my barrio, it’s not too common to see a bearded lanky bloke jogging.
My mother-in-law asked me what the prizes were, I had to tell her that I won’t be that far up the field on the back of 6 weeks jogging!

“Victor Meldrew says…”


This week my moan is entirely justified. It is something that baffles me on a daily basis & can be summed up in 3 words “GET IN LANE”

People turning right, get in the far left hand lane, in 4 lanes of traffic & slice across the entire carriageway, cutting everybody up. It doesn’t take much doing to get lane. This also (especially) applies to Police on motorbikes. Shame on you chaps! Poncherello would not be happy!
Victor says “Piense Varon!”

Dakar 2016 – Back to Peru!


After a 2-year absence, the Dakar Rally is returning to Peru in January.
Starting in Lima, riders/drivers will cross some tricky deserts to the south, before heading skywards to the Andes, into Bolivia & finishing in Argentina.
I may suggest a time trial across Lima at rush hour to the organisers, to see how competitors fare against the local Taxistas & Combi drivers. It would be very close to call…

That’s all for now folks :-)
Have an awesome week.

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper x

2 thoughts on ““Draw-a-person”, 570 tricky questions and all-change-on-the-job-front!

  1. Jane Daniel

    Hi Johnny , Lina & Valentina,
    Yet again brilliant blog! Just got back from Holland , 4 operators, 2 techs and 1 team leader went to Zoeterwoude and Den Bosch breweries another world completely!
    And finally Elvis whoops I mean Martin has left the building! Gone to bigger and better things in Ethiopia!
    Speak soon

  2. MarkO

    Hola JB, Another great blog, congratulations on your new job and good luck in the marathon. Relieved to read that the tea crisis has been resolved!
    Take care bud.
    MarkO :-)


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